GIMME A DRINK

I have always had anxiety for as long as I can remember. There isn’t a time I can remember where I didn’t have that butterflies in my stomach feeling. A lump in my throat or the feeling you get before taking an important test or getting on a giant roller coaster. It’s no way for anyone to live let alone an adolescent. I remember dry heaving before school everyday. When this started I don’t remember. I know I was doing it by the 6th grade.

Elementary school wasn’t too bad. I was still thin and cute. I could do gymnastics and my hair was straight and light blond. Then it all changed. My hair became curly and frizzy. I grew large breasts overnight and gained weight. I was also taller than the other girls going into Junior High. I wore thick glasses by this time and the beginnings of puberty wreaked havoc on my skin. I’m not painting a pretty picture am I ? That’s because it wasn’t. I know this because I was always the last one picked in gym class, I was called names, I had stuff thrown at me, animal noises made at me, and even other student’s parents thought it was appropriate to discuss me while I was standing right there.

What did I do? I took it. My twin sister wasn’t having the same experience as I was. When we were in school they1wendy-2 separated twins. Twins were not allowed to have any classes together. Did she know what was going on? To some extent. She didn’t completely escape it. She was also taller with bigger breasts but she was pretty and much thinner than I was. She also had the capability to make friends. I know she defended me on occasion. It wasn’t often. Mostly it was in High School and only if the person really crossed a line. Even though I was bigger our classmates were more frightened of her. I don’t know what she did for that to happen.

There’s a picture my sister likes to pull out for a good laugh. It’s a school picture of me in the 9th grade. I have curly blond hair, very thick glasses, a hot pink and white striped shirt on, hot pink beads around my neck, and a lovely fever blister on my lip. She thinks it’s hysterical. My twin is like my dad, photogenic. Neither one of them can take a bad picture.

I thought I had won the friend lottery when I met W. We found the same things funny, we hated the same things and the same people. I couldn’t understand why she wasn’t popular. She was tall, thin with strawberry blond hair and green eyes. She was one of the prettiest girls in the school. I never could understand it. I could never understand why she chose to be friends with me. Sometimes I still wonder. We’ve had a few bumps in the road, mostly because of me but she’s still here.

W and I also loved the same music and guys with long hair. It was the late 80’s early 90’s. We were both also terrified to talk to boys/men. I remember one time W left me sitting at a bowling alley alone while she ran home to swig the pink stuff for your stomach. She was so nervous because a guy she had a crush on walked in she thought she would be sick. lol It was weird, for her I could muster up some courage. My brother had played baseball with the guy and told me how much he loved the band Boston. When W came back I went to the Jukebox and played every Boston song in there. Now this wasn’t the smartest man on the planet but he was attractive. He just kept saying “Holy shit! Why are all the Boston songs playing?”. I was laughing. He recognized me from going in there with my brother and came over. I admitted to playing the Boston songs. For some reason I could talk to him because it wasn’t for me. And I was sober at this time. Weird.

Sobriety didn’t last long after that. When you always feel no one wants you where they are, a birthday party, wedding, your own shared birthday party, it’s difficult. I was always looking for the escape hatch. Then one day W called to tell me she was picking me up with 2 of the most popular guys in not only our town but the surrounding 3 towns. I vomited and jumped in the shower. I sat in the backseat with my favorite one. He was a legend to me. He looked almost exactly like Slash from Guns n Roses but sexier. His name was even great. I won’t put it here because he has since passed away and he was well known. I’ll just say his name was the same as a fat happy religious statue.

He offered me a swig from a bottle that smelled like mint and looked like water. My only experience so far with alcohol was sips of my dad’s beer. I figured it smelled minty and looked like water how bad could it be? Mind you I was 16 at the time. I took a healthy drink from the bottle and by the look on my face he knew I hadn’t had it before. He said “You puke that up I’ll make you eat it”. I forced myself to swallow it down and keep it down. Rumplemintz I’ll never touch it again. That I can definitely say never to.

I proceeded to get drunk and bought the guy $50 in CDs, then we went to a party somewhere in a bad neighborhood I think in Providence or Pawtucket I don’t remember. I know I fooled around with the guy and somehow he got another $20, things took a turn for the worse at the end of the night when he put my earrings in a cup of beer. Yup I knew how to pick them right from the beginning.

That was the beginning. Even though the guy was an ass I found that I could stand up for myself, I felt confident, I didn’t care if people wanted me around or not. Liquid courage.

Someone once said “You know you’re an alcoholic when you stop getting hangovers”. Not true. I always had horrendous hangovers. I had a reason. I had Celiac Disease and didn’t know it. I was poisoning myself every time I drank and on some occasions I was also suffering from alcohol poisoning. You can’t have a breathalyzer result of .30 three hours after being taken in and not have done some damage. I shocked quite a few people with that one and they wanted to throw the book at me. I’m lucky someone thought I was worth saving.

Picture is W and her boyfriend. She exists.

Advertisements

Authority, Incarceration, Brutality and Celebrity

I am a Sober Bipolar Woman who happens to love movies. I also happen to have been arrested on several occasions in my drinking days. I was in my 20’s. I am also Caucasian. I live in a town where there are few African American families. There are not many in the surrounding towns either.

I have in my lifetime known quite a few men that have been in prison for long periods of time. They were all white. Their crimes were usually B & E or drug related. Some said it was illegal fishing but I fell for that only so many times.

I can honestly say that I have not met a police officer that I have found helpful or one that diffused a situation I was in. I was taught to respect an Officer of The Law no matter what and do what they tell you. My mother also said never run because it makes you look guilty. It was hard to stick to what I was told growing up.

I was always taken in for Drunken Disorderly. This happened in several towns. I can honestly tell you that each time the officers thought it was a joke, would watch me urinate, and leave me with nothing to cover myself or toilet paper. I was always dressed up to go out so they would leave me in my tank top and jeans and that was it. Then they would laugh. When I was beaten by one man the same officers did nothing except laugh again. They knew his father.

When my older brother was younger he was arrested all the time. He was 16 but looked 30. He stuck out in a crowd. He was 6’3″ and 220 pounds. When the police would break up a party who do you think they saw first? Who do you think ran first? My brother with the high IQ was always the first to run and the first to get caught. He had a court ordered curfew that a few on the local force would make him late for on purpose. Jaywalking was their favorite. He was hated by them. They would say his name like Seinfeld would say Newman. When he first got back from the Army and they found out, he was stopped and handcuffed because he looked like a “robbery suspect” they were in pursuit of. He was in uniform. His wife and newborn baby in the car with him. I admit a lot of it he brought on himself but some was over the line.

The point I’m trying to make is that not all people in a position of power are GOOD PEOPLE. Just because you passed the exam and you now have a badge doesn’t mean you are a good person doing the right thing. It isn’t an automatic and just doesn’t happen with different races, it happens with different economic classes also. Sometimes people abuse their power BECAUSE THEY CAN. So who has done more for me in the long run?

Now Quentin Tarantino has spoken out about Brutality involving some Police Forces. Not all. I heard him say it originally. Only the guilty, not ALL Officers of the Law. But Politicians and the Media would like to make a big deal out of it instead of looking in their own backyards and cleaning up the shit that’s there already. What does boycotting a movie do? Nothing. He’s still going to get paid and the movie is still going to be genius as always because he’s Quentin Tarantino.

Why do I write about this? One time when I quit drinking I did one thing. I watched movies. I watched so many movies they offered me a job. A job that lasted 13 years where I managed 2 stores at the same time for awhile. A job where I could watch all the movies I wanted and escape the pain of my life. Movies helped me with my Alcoholism, the death of my mother, and any other hard time I had. Without that escapism I wouldn’t be here. But I am not stupid. I do not let Hollywood influence my political or legal decisions.

I have not had any run ins with the law in many years. But if I have to drive by a place where I was incarcerated for the night it makes me feel sick and relieved at the same time. Relieved because I no longer live that life. Sick because I once did and it’s very easy to fall backwards.

 

Why Is My Hair Stylist More Understanding?

I have a wonderful young woman that does my hair. Even though I’m a licensed Cosmetologist I can’t do my own hair. Because of Celiac Disease I have developed a muscle wasting disease. This makes it hard to hold up my arms to color my hair or cut my hair. Plus it’s nice to have it done professionally if you can.

My hair dresser is about 28 and I’m 42. She’s adorable, kind, with an innocence about her. She lights up a room. She’s just one of those people. She kind of knew right away that something was different about me. Sometimes I was shy and quiet and sometimes I would talk too much. She had lived with her friend who is Bipolar for a few years and saw some similarities. She never asked but I told her anyway. We had gone out for chicken wings and I knew she knew so I just confirmed it.

She knows I’ve been having a hard time lately. She posted something on Facebook that was so kind I cried for a long time. She understood. She really did. She was letting everyone know in her way to just listen to someone like me or someone who might be depressed that it’s all we need to do for each other. It said other things I can’t remember of course. The thing is my sister doesn’t even get this. My father doesn’t get this. No one around me gets it. They just walk around me like they can’t see me. So Britt thanks for seeing me and making me feel pretty at the same time. Love you.

I Scare People

I find myself being too honest and babbling with people. When I walk away I’m left feeling sad and wondering if I’ve just made an ass out of myself.

An example would be yesterday. I went to a big dog friendly shopping center to show my hair stylist my puppy and to get him some chew toys.

She’s outside with me talking and petting the puppy when her boss comes over. Her boss is handsome, my age, divorced, and has winked at me at least once or got shampoo in his eye.

He’s asking me about the puppy, what kind of dog it is and I say ” It’s a Blue Chihuahua because I had a long haired Chihuahua but he died a few months ago and he was my therapy dog because I’m Bipolar and my Dr. said I should get another one fast”. He left fast after that. I couldn’t help it. I feel like people can see a red B on my forehead and I have to explain. When I don’t. Next time I’ll tell him I’m also a Sober Atheist who likes poetry, long walks on the beach, and poking dead things with a stick.

What You Don’t Know About Celiac Disease Could Kill You

I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease a few years ago. I didn’t have the usual symptoms of stomach upset and pain. My twin sister had been diagnosed with it for quite some time. She kept telling me to get the blood test done at least. I didn’t listen until my Psychiatrist found out my sister had Celiac. He thought there was a good chance a lot of the medications were not working like they should because I wasn’t absorbing them into my system. So I went for the blood test and the biopsy which both came up positive. I had been living with it for quite some time and had done some damage. Here is a list of symptoms/disorders that can be or are caused by Celiac Disease. I have most of them.

Early Menopause- I started at 41

Hormonal level swings

Swollen Bladder/Cervix

Loss of appetite

Nausea

Stomach Pain

Back Pain- Big one for me also causing osteoporosis

Joint Pain, Stiffness, and Swelling- Not fun

Leg Cramps- Calves in the middle of the night

Muscle spasms

Anemia- also a big problem for me

Low vitamin D- I was diagnosed with Rickets

Low Vitamin B12 and Calcium

ADD

Anxiety

Brain Fog

Panic Attacks

Depression

Irritability

Irrational Anger

Loneliness/Isolation

Loss of Interest in Daily Activities

Memory Loss- another problem for me

Mood Swings

Suicidal

Bruising

Dark Circles Under Eyes

Pale Skin- I’m talking Casper the Ghost

Asthma

Bladder Infections

Blurred Vision

Chills/Fever

Chronic Fatigue

Vertigo- I hate this one

Hair Loss- scary when it first starts

Migraines

Irregular Heartbeat

Seizures

Sinus Pressure- another fun one that cause 2 cysts in my sinus cavity

Trouble Sleeping

Liver Disease

Pancreatic Cancer

Leads to other Auto Immune Diseases and some cancers

The problem is some of these symptoms are the same as Bipolar. Generic Medications are still made with gluten as a binder. Gluten is everywhere. The public dismisses it or jokes about. A bread crumb the size of a grain of salt can contaminate me and take me 6 months to get better. My medications won’t work correctly if I get contaminated. For the first few days it’s like swimming through wet cement with every bone in your body broken. It’s very possible I went into Kidney Failure because of it. They don’t know. It costs me 3 times more for food than the average person. My diet consists of Rice Chex because that’s what my body can handle. I can’t eat corn, milk or gluten free oats anymore.

As far as being Bipolar is concerned no one knows which end is up. So I just have to deal. I suffer from everything on this list except seizures. Plus I now have problems with my White Blood Cell Count and Bone Marrow due to an Auto Immune Disease caused by Celiac. It isn’t as simple as people think. Before speaking about something you don’t know educate yourself.

Path To Recovery, Shopping Sprees, Alcoholism

I was reading some memes and quotes on Pinterest because that’s what I do, when I see Pete Wentz talking about Mental Illness. What he was quoted as saying sounded ok. Everyone is different and needs to find their own path. Then whoever got the quote puts underneath “Pete Wentz discussing his path to recovery”.

He wasn’t in rehab, he didn’t have the flu, he’s Bipolar. As far as I know Bipolar Disorder is a lifetime commitment. There really is no “path to recovery”. You can have better days than you were having. Try to manage it and so on. But you will not recover from it. Unless you have the part of your brain where it lives or comes from (right frontal lobe?) cut out. Even then no scientist or doctor will guarantee it’s gone. You could maybe be in remission? My Psychiatrist, when he remembers, puts that I’m “in remission from alcohol abuse”. He’s right. When you are an alcoholic you are always an alcoholic. You have just chosen to not drink and hope and work at continuing with that choice.

I like looking at it that way. One of the biggest reasons people fail in sobriety is the shame of “falling off the wagon”. They don’t want to go back to their group after, their family, jobs, anyone that is going to judge them and make them feel worse than they already do.

So what happens? They continue to drink to forget. They do this until enough time has gone by to try again, they are put in jail or die.

I fell off the wagon at least 20 times. I was lucky enough to have parents that were not going to give up. They put money away for my funeral but they WERE NOT giving up! lol  Sorry. It’s true. It went towards my mom’s funeral who never got to see me sober for more than a few months at a time. She knows I know she does.

Shopping sprees are this Bipolar person’s favorite thing. I have learned to control them to some extent. It’s almost a good thing that my physical health hasn’t been that great over the last few years. I now lose time in a store and I’m slow as a snail. Every shiny object grabs my attention and distracts me from what I’m doing. I’m now in a size where I can wear just about any fashionable thing out there and I get too distracted or have a panic attack because the 10th woman over 65 has hit me with her shopping cart in the back of my knees or heels. Ugghh!!! There are no “Sorries” ever!!! Why?? And sometimes I apologize to them and I don’t even have a friggin’ cart!

I also have no one to go clothes shopping with me. I’m not exaggerating. My sister won’t go because I weigh less than her now. It was ok when I was a size 20 and had to watch her pick out a prom dress when I wasn’t going. Or watch her try on hundreds of wedding dresses when I was pushing a size 22. No, I didn’t have a choice. My mother’s lung cancer was in remission and I was in the wedding. You suck it up and do what you have to while swallowing down every comment.

10398029_486044241577499_6901965662850127787_nMy “best friend” hardly ever calls me back and hates shopping. The other friend I have is morbidly obese, has had 3 heart surgeries, and always asks for Adderall. All I want to know is if I have a camel toe or if the pants look right!! I always wore shirts that went to my knees. I’ve never shown my ass before! So I have to ask strangers that look fashionable if something looks ok without telling them what I really mean. Most are nice about it. I act less intelligent than I am and like I’m going to cry. It works better that way. Actually it’s how I act all the time. A defense mechanism. I just realized I did that. I think I’ll throw up now.

The Blond is me at close to my highest weight 260/270 and drunk. The red head is me now, sober for over 6 and a half years so far. That may change after listening to Donald Trump talking on CNN. JUST KIDDING!

Anxiety is My Middle Name

Since getting my puppy my anxiety has been through the roof. I don’t know what the problem is. I feel like something bad is going to happen. When he whines I feel my heart break. I know you’re supposed to let them whine because giving in only reinforces the behavior. I have a hard time doing this. Chihuahuas are kind of different. They are prone to separation anxiety. It can actually be harmful to them to be crate trained. This depends on who you believe. They are very intuitive so I believe it can be harmful. I’m so frazzled right now I don’t know what I’m doing.

I also hate that I’ve always considered myself good with animals. I hate that I feel like I’m failing this poor puppy. Even though he’s getting food, water, shelter and love. I don’t know why I still feel this way. I’m in a bad place right now. I love him and he loves me. So why do I feel so overwhelmed?

Maybe it’s the fact that my father yells at every little thing. I jump every time the dog is out of my sight just in case he has an accident. For Christ’s sake my dad’s parrots make a bigger mess! I don’t like being reprimanded. I can’t follow the dog 24 hours a day. I’m trying the best I can.

I’m also worried about my medical bills. I applied for help and they only agreed to help with 3 days when it was supposed to be 6 months. With more surgeries coming up what am I supposed to do? I’m on disability and they say I make too much. How is that possible? If I lived on my own I wouldn’t be able to afford shelter. The cut off is in the area of $860 a month. You can’t get more than that to qualify. You can’t live on $860 a month. I have to have the surgeries there is no other choice. So add that to my anxiety list.

I have to have a conversation with my Psychiatrist on 11/11/15 about how he does my assessment. He keeps copying and pasting from one visit to the next. When I go up for Review this looks bad. He just puts in a code for Bipolar I or Bipolar II. It should have Bipolar I, Conversion Disorder, General Anxiety Disorder, Social Phobia, and PTSD. I think there’s more but I forget. He never puts any real notes about my condition or how I’m doing. Knowing him this will not go well.

I also don’t want to have the surgeries.

I hate complaining but no one listens anyways.

Pretty soon I’ll have lock jaw from clenching my teeth constantly. I do it all day and don’t even know it. I have TMJ and was already told a few years ago how bad it was.

Everything just feels off and sucks right now.