Say what?!?! 

Dear Doc, 
Had a conversation with my attorney today. He has been going through my medical records. He said I have Major Depressive Disorder with psychotic features. Psychotic? Are you kidding me? What about me is psychotic and why did u hear this from a lawyer instead of you??? 
Look, I know that I’m forgetful and such, but I seriously doubt I’d forget a diagnosis like that. I am going to end up like my brother, aren’t I? OMG! I feel so scared right now I can see straight. I can’t live like him. That can’t be future me. OMG OMG OMG!!!!
There were other things the lawyer said that you never told me you knew about. I feel like I’ve gone insane! I don’t remember telling you those things. I never told anyone. Now a lawyer knows and, Monday, a judge and some assessor will know. OMG… I never even wanted you to know. 
I know you haven’t broken any laws or breached my right to privacy. I signed so they could get my records. I get that. But hearing it out loud is so shocking. I don’t know why. I just can’t stand it…what happened. And now, hearing it out loud… I can’t process it. At all. OMG I think I’m gonna die over this one. 

Day of the Dead

Good afternoon, Doc. I hope all is well with you, but I’m not feeling very well today. I’m a little angry about some side effects of my meds that you didn’t tell me about, but that’s a discussion for another day. Today, I realized that it’s been nearly eight hundred days since my husband died.

By all accounts, my husband, B, was a bastard. He was mean and addicted and nothing was ever good enough for him. I certainly wasn’t. But, I still loved him. I still love him. He was my homeboy, before anything else, and was since we were just kids. That doesn’t go away just because things went sideways a quarter century later. Today, as every day, I can feel his cold, dead, hand in my own. I recall, physically, how it felt to hold it. Every day, I see it…this rough, working man’s hand. It was greenish and swollen, but I held it, even so. I wish I never touched it, because it haunts me…that frozen touch kills me inside.

I mourn B, The pain of losing him is still fresh and relentless. Each morning, I look up and see his hat and I cry because it makes me feel that he’s both here, and gone, simultaneously. Everywhere I look, I am reminded of the happy times we shared. Memories of the bad times have been shoo’d away like flies on a pie. I try not to acknowledge the last years of our lives together. They were truly horrific. But, they do stick a finger in my eye, now and then. On days like this one, I look across the room and see him, in my mind’s eye. He is out of his mind on pills. The scenario plays out, further, as my gaze is firmly fixed on the spot where his chair once was. I am up and down, when he finally passes out. I’m checking on him every few minutes. I have to see if he’s still breathing. I move the gun he kept near him, for when I talked too damn much during his shows. He’s always cold, so I cover him with a blanket, then I return to my post…and, I watch.

I’m so tired of missing him. I’m tired of the weight of him on my shoulders, after all this time has passed. But, I can’t let him go. I just can’t. Though I know he’s never coming back, I still expect to see him when I wake each morning.

During out last session, I shared with you that I have had suicidal thoughts for as far back as memory serves me. You noted that I always found a reason not to do it. You were smiling, as though you discovered a truth that I had not noticed. But, I have noticed it, and I’m agitated by it. Yes, I have people in my life that I don’t want to suffer a loss, but their feelings are growing ever closer to the Number 2 spot on my list. I don’t know how to tell you how I feel. I’m sure that you’ve heard it all before. Yet, the thought of it pulls at my skirt like an impatient child…

Suicide, Penises, and Pills

Dear Doc,

This day just creeps by as my mind rages on. My brain is so full of fear and thoughts of not trusting myself. I was reading about the death of Dolores O’riordan, lead singer of the Cranberries. She was bipolar and her death is strongly suspected to have been a successful suicide, as she had made an attempt last year. Every time that I hear of another bipolar person killing themselves, I start to wonder when my number will be up. When will Death come for me? When will He force my own hand to do the unthinkable?

Not to be dramatic, but suicide is not a foreign thought to me. The thought of suicide has shadowed me most of the days that I’ve lived. Yet, I’m still here. But, sometimes, I wonder if the same feelings that pushed others over the edge will, one day, cloud my own heart. I’ve come close so many times, but I have a ridiculous need to see things through…to see the end of the story…that I just couldn’t go through with it. Perhaps I’m just a coward. I don’t really know.

I haven’t truly come to terms with being bipolar. I’ve been this way for so long, that I can’t really remember when I was any different. On the few occasions when I felt ‘normal’, it really didn’t do much for me. All I could think was that it was no wonder so many seemingly normal people kill themselves. It’s just so tedious and boring. On the other hand, they don’t spend months in the depths of despair, crying all the time and begging God to kill them, either. Or days on end of a feeling that you’re soaring so high that you may never come back down. It matters to them if they spend the light bill money on clothes or booze or fun. Normals are so very different that I often see them in the same way that I do zoo animals. They are an oddity in my life. Always have been. Maybe they always will be.

I’m upset about my friend, L. I think I have real feelings for him. That’s confusing to me. I’m not in that headspace, really, but my heart sort of is. He’s in no condition for a relationship and neither am I. Besides, I’m not even sure he’d see me ‘that way’ if he were ready to settle down with someone. He’s not exactly my type. He’s not an iron worker, for one thing. Or a welder. My gawd, I have such a thing for welders that it’s absolutely ridiculous! I love the hoods they wear when they weld. Their clothes…They are totally sexy to me. And I love men who work in the oilfield. Boilermakers, especially. I love the way they smell after a hard day’s work. They smell like oil and manhood, if that makes sense. They’re sweaty and so….something. Bennie was like that. We had the most mind blowing sex that I think I’ll ever have. He was/is my one and only and I seriously doubt that, at my age, anyone will ever match up to him in bed. It was just so good I cannot come close to describing it. Wow! Whew, lawdy…time for a subject change…

One thing I’ve discovered, having been on a few dating sites, is that men want women my age to have had more than one lover. I think that indicates to them that you’re desirable, etc. I, however, cannot stand that most of the men I’ve met on these sites have had an average of 15. That’s a high number to me. Especially when you consider most have been in long term marriages. I’ve never been one to trust promiscuous people, be they male or female. I absolutely believe that they have no moral compass, so what could trust possibly mean to them? They tend to be ego based and constantly out for themselves. I hate that. And I’m not going to slut around so that some man will think I must have a golden vagina, since so many have wanted to do me. What these morons don’t know is that my old nickname was Man Magnet, given to me by my sister in law. Even though I’m a big woman, I’m not unable to attract men, when I have my confidence up. That’s almost never anymore, but there was a time, before that meltdown, when I could get any man I wanted, and that’s no exaggeration. One man, in line at the grocery, once asked what I’d had for breakfast…a bowl of pheromones? lol! Men used to follow me around like puppies. I was cute, but a bit unsettling and caused Bennie to be very jealous. The point is: Just because you don’t screw every man who wants you doesn’t mean that nobody wants you. Why is that so hard for men, these days, to understand?

Wow…I’m really rambling now. This has turned more into a stream of consciousness post than anything else. Not that anyone will read it. Who could deal with all of this? Not me!

I may go on and get my Suboxone. I dropped it off this morning and was supposed to pick it up tomorrow. But I might be ready to stop Norco tonight. I don’t know. I’m so excited about it. I cannot wait to be free from that drug and the problems surrounding it. Mostly, I hate to take it with me when I travel out of fear that the police will pull me over and my count won’t be perfect. I know someone that happened to and she’s now facing a DUI charge, along with charges pertaining to her meds because the count was slightly high. Like she was going to go sell four or five extra pills. Seriously. I’d just die if that happened to me. Of course, I wouldn’t let them search my car without a warrant, but that’s just me. I don’t care how nice they are, cops work for the government, which loves to incarcerate people here in the Lone Star State. It’s really getting ridiculous. Pot advocates spend all of their time bellyaching about how they are targeted and unfairly fined and sentenced, etc. They should have to go around with a legal, but heavily scrutinized, narcotic on their person. Talk about unfair penalties. Shit!

I guess I’ll go now. Those floors won’t mop themselves! Sorry for the ramble, Doc!

Morning Chitchat

Dear Doc,

I’m having a terrible time this morning. I’m so full of sorrow and regret that I can’t stand it. I keep thinking of my brother, Captain Crazy. He’s on the streets in Austin right now. By choice. I worry about him so much. Although, he terrifies me, I can’t help but worry that he’s going to meet a violent end out there on the streets. I am left to wonder if I’ve done enough to help him. I’ve called the authorities, tried to find support groups for my mother, begged him to get on his medication…all to no avail. There is so little available for people like him and those who have the burden of caring for them. And, it is a burden of the highest caliber. That much, I know.

Then, there’s Bennie. I miss him so much it hurts. I feel like I failed him. All I wanted was for him to snap out of it and put down the damn pills. Why couldn’t he just do that? I thought I could fix him, but I just couldn’t, but maybe that’s because I didn’t try hard enough. I know that we can’t control other people, but I should’ve figured out a way. My God…when I think of the shape he was in. Then, I remember how he lied to me about my brakes and that I could’ve died because of it and I get pissed off and the whole cycle starts again. It seems that I’m always feeling angry or guilty where he’s concerned.

Valentine’s Day would have been our 32nd anniversary. I can’t wrap my brain around that. He died two months after our 30th. I remember that one more than all the others because I wouldn’t acknowledge it, and wouldn’t allow him to, either. I was just trying to make a point. It never occurred to me that it could be our last anniversary together. I’m such a fucking bitch sometimes. Why didn’t I just let out differences slide for that one day? Damn it. I wish I’d just known, that’s all.

Now that people know about my bipolar and ptsd, mostly from Mom sharing that wonderful news, they approach me as though they’re about to diffuse a bomb. I didn’t earn that. You know what I mean? I’ve never flipped on anyone. Not on anyone who didn’t deserve it. I hate being looked at through the same awkward eye that they look at the Captain with. It’s humiliating. God, I’m such a failure. I mean…this is not what life was supposed to be like now. Not even close. Shit. Shit. Shit.

I’m going to get my Suboxone today. Jay said he’d keep an eye on me throughout the short withdrawal period I have to go through before starting the Suboxone. I don’t expect any major issues to arise. I hope you are ok with this. I emailed you, but haven’t heard back. I don’t really need your help, as there is an ER not too far from me. It would be nice to have your approval, though. I highly value your opinion. Anyway…I’m gonna go. I’ve managed to be fairly productive for…well…one day….yesterday….and I’d like to try to get this house hospital clean before I take to the bed for withdrawals. PC Doc said I should just try to sleep through it, and that’s what I’m going to do. I don’t like to be in bed during the day, but it’s for the best, I think.

I hope all is well with you and yours. Thanks for ‘listening’.

As always,

Elle

 

 

Untitled 


​There is a darkness inside of me

It snuffs out what dares shine

By way of a sharp and deliberate heel 

I smile because I don’t know what else to do

As I look into your eyes

Knife to my throat 

Not wanting to drag you into Hell with me

But I can only smile for so long

So when I say I must leave, let me go

My body is a pain machine

My mind is broken

Much more so, my heart

Piece by piece, I am being dismantled

Deconstructed

Reduced to the dust from whence I came

And not a moment too soon 

FTW

Dear Doc, 
Shit…another fucking day. I think I was sleep walking last night. I woke up half out of my chair, late this morning. I remember screaming because the goddamned shadows wouldn’t leave me be. I can’t take much more of this. 
My mom texted me with concerns about the weather here on Christmas. I don’t give a rat’s ass about the fucking weather. I can’t wake up enough to talk to her and I can’t find the weather on my phone. I’m only writing this shit to clear my head and try to figure out what you might say to do. I tried using the chill method on Mom yesterday…like you showed me when she got on my ass. I was telling her about getting new auto insurance and she went into total control mode. Fuck. Well the damn chill method didn’t work. Not even a little. I swear to God, I was so stressed out by the end of it all that I wanted to get in my car and just floor it and let whatever happens happen. That fucker cruises at 120…I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have to be sitting here writing this if I had taken a ride. I’m so sick of this fucking life. 
I’m just so tired, Doc. I mean tired to what’s left of my soul. Next week is Christmas and there’s no way I can get out of going to mom’s. I love her so much, but I don’t even want to leave the house. I want to stay here, curtains closed, and let it all pass. I’m 51 years old. You wouldn’t think I’d have such ridiculous issues at my age. But I just can’t screw my head on right. I’m so tired. So fucking tired. 
Shit, I can’t wake up. My head feels so heavy and I feel sick inside…like you feel when you wake up after getting blackout drunk. I’m so disoriented and lost in my own head. I hate living this way. Yesterday was so…up. Today, I’m at rock bottom again. I never did get the dishes done. Imagine that. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing tomorrow! I should put that on my headstone. Except, I don’t want a headstone. When I leave, I want to be gone, as though I never existed. This life has been a nightmare that I’ve never managed to wake from. I see no need to commemorate it. I’ve never been much good at living. I’ll be damned if I fuck up dying. 

Manic Much?

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Dear Doc,

I hope you’re enjoying this fine winter weather while it lasts. I’m enjoying it from inside, as I haven’t left the house in about ten days. Even so, it’s absolutely lovely; clear skies and crisp air. I love it!

I’m quite manic today. I cannot shut my brain off no matter how hard I try. It’s flying so fast that I’m physically exhausted from it. I’ve taken my meds…xanax more than normal. Still, nothing. I am impervious to tranquility in any form. Aside from meds, I’ve tried to center…meditate…recalibrate. But, the harder I try to be quiet, the louder my ears ring and the more random thoughts scurry through my mind. I feel happy enough, but I have this prickly feeling that I may start crying at any moment. I hate this. Truly.

I’m not sleeping well. I have managed to get a solid two to three hours per night, after which time, I wake. Then, I sit in my chair where I normally fall asleep for a couple more hours. I’m tired all of the time and it’s not helping that I’m trying to diet. Dieting always adds stress, especially when I’m having no success. In fact, I feel like I’ve put on another five pounds. Sometimes, I think it would be so easy for me to hop off this merry-go-round. I think it would make it easier on my family, too. But I know they’d miss me. I couldn’t do that to my boys, even though they’re full grown men now. Crap. I’m so fucking stuck.

When I do get to sleep, the shadows still dance around me. Bloody dreams of days long gone swirl ’round in my head like vultures coming to pick dry bones. I do have memories that I consciously choose to keep locked away. I try, sometimes, to force myself to peek at them, but it never ends well. The ones that truly get me are the ones that flood my mind by way of shadows and things just beyond my sight. I know that, if they ever show themselves, I won’t be able to handle what they reveal. I don’t want to handle it. I don’t want to know. Yet, the shadows still tease me in the nighttime when I am most vulnerable. Ironic, that, as the shadows hide memories from a time when I was, indeed, as vulnerable as a child can be.

I should go. I’m trying to focus in on doing the dishes all at once, instead of the normal two or three days it takes me to do one, small, sink full. I’ve been trying to get started since 9:30 this morning, but every time I start into the kitchen, I’m caught by something of interest and must investigate. I’ve watched a documentary on physics, a lecture on…you guessed it…the multiverse…looked up old country songs I once loved…texted James to send pics of him in his hardhat. You name it, I’m distracted by it to an irresistible extent.

I wish we could do sessions via Skype. That way, I could talk with you more often. You know, it was so difficult to work through my indignance about having these issues, but it allowed me to accept that they are part of who I am. With your help, I think I’ve made a lot of progress in the acceptance area. Now, I just need to understand why. Why is this happening in my brain. I know you’ve explained it, but I can’t recall what you said, exactly. All I do know is that I feel as though I am host to an unwanted guest. It is a guest who has taken over to the point that I could bow out at any time and nobody would be the wiser. That’s a very difficult feeling. Knowing I’m not just eccentric Auntie Elle…I’m not really the colorful character that makes me everyone’s favorite Auntie. I’m crazy. I’m just plain nuts. Nothing colorful or eccentric about it. I hate that so much I can’t even put it into words. All I can hope is that my nieces and nephews never find out the truth about me. I like them thinking I’m magical and the way they pass on stories about me to their own children now. I love that, even after growing up and realizing that every tall tale was made just for them, they still love to hear them. I’d hate to think that, one day, they’d stop telling my stories to their children at bedtime because they realize they were simply the bi-product of an out of control mind. The day that happens is the day my legacy dies…my legend…and the wonder I wanted them to see this world with so very much.

I know that there are much worse things than being me. I do try to maintain perspective. And I am grateful to God for the life I have. I am doing okay by most standards. But I wish that I could just be normal…that I could change the past and have one of those picket fence lives. I’ve never seen a picket fence I didn’t like. To me, they represent everything I’ll never be, but aspire to be, none the less.

And that, sweet Doc, is the end of this lil diatribe. I’m going to go take another stab at the dishes…

beyond the veil

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Dear Doc,

Sometimes, I’ll be sitting in my chair when, suddenly, I feel so high that I think the top of my head might just blow right off. I feel enormously powerful and fully dedicated to any thought that crosses my mind. It’s as though my head is full of stardust and every thought twinkles and shines.

There are times when I feel so great that I forget that I’m almost a complete shut-in these days. I’ll do my hair and makeup…put on nice clothes…then I’ll get in my car, off to destinations unknown. But, at that point, I realize that, no matter where I go, I am left to be an observer. Nothing in my brain, in Heaven or Hell, is going to move me to go beyond that veil of fear and mingle with people. I can’t even stand the thought of being near most people. So, I drive around as though I have business to tend to somewhere in town. Up this road, down the next, until I can’t take the isolation any longer and I throw my car into sport mode and drive as fast as she can go to get back home.

I don’t understand where the veil comes from; no clue as to what fear provokes its presentation. It just appears out of nowhere, gently keeping me in my place. Always an observer of life, but not much on the living of it.

Most days, I can’t even go beyond my front door. I feel the pressure against me, holding me back. That veil may as well be made of steel, for all the power I have over it. I can’t push through it, or get around it in any way…not until it’s finished with me. I think that it comes my way, then tires of playing its games and rushes off for another playmate. The veil does seem to live on its own, after all. A being that is powerful enough to understand that the true torture is in allowing one to be able to peek at what lies beyond it.

Ummmm…No, screw YOU.

Dear Doc,

I wish I could just call you whenever I needed you. As silly as it seems for someone of my age to ‘need’ to talk to my doc, that’s just how it is with me. Since you got me thinking about standing my ground and boundaries and that I’m somebody in this world, I can’t seem to quit making enemies. I don’t think I’m doing it right.

One example is what I did this morning. I signed on to Messenger and saw that my friend had been on there shortly before, only he didn’t message me or anything. We used to text and talk a lot, and I understand that he’s working now, but he obviously has time to chat. I just got so pissed, so I messaged him to let him know never to text/call me again. Ever. Done and done. And therein lies the problem…

I tend to make very hasty decisions like that, and ALMOST always regret them. Though ending a friendship on such a bad note makes me feel bad, the truth is that I won’t even remember his face in a few week’s time. Or his voice. Or anything. Eventually, in a few months, I won’t even remember knowing him, except for the odd pop-in memory. I hate that about myself.

I don’t know how you can be so smooth when you’re drawing boundaries. I like the things you suggested when we role played about my mom and I. I’ve never even considered being that…pleasant. I’m more of a ‘stomp around and scream you out’ type. It’s explosive and so hard to change because I don’t ever really feel it coming on. Maybe we can discuss this in January. I really screwed up and I have to fix it. Or…I guess I could just let this person float on down that hazy river in my brain…

Just another day…

Dear Doc,

I know it’s been a minute since I’ve written. I’ve just been too discombobulated emotionally to gather a cohesive thought long enough to put it to paper, as it were. However, I would love to say that I truly enjoyed our session last week. I think that we really clicked for the first time. Not that the sessions before didn’t count; they have helped me immensely. But, I felt that you really understood me…the way I say things and such. Accepted. That’s how I felt, and I’m very grateful for that.

I’ve been sick for a couple of weeks. I did enjoy a short respite the day I came to see you and the one after. Per the norm, all good things must come to an end… In any case, I feel like I’m caught up in Hell’s bloody belly today. As we established; my mood is stable, although at a low point. I honestly thought it was as low as it would get, until I opened my eyes this morning. I feel breathless from the weight of this miserable feeling on my chest. It’s as though it has a body it’s taken to, just beyond my sight. I feel pushed around and sad to my core. And I don’t know what to do about it.

This happens now and then. I suppose, at my advanced age, I should know how to snap out of it. Actually, I should know a lot of things at my age, but even the simplest things that make life comfortable seem to escape my line of sight. All I can see are the big things and they are ugly and fierce and stronger than I am. Days like this feel as though they should be the last day. Nobody in their right mind would want to live another. I’m not in my right mind, though. A fact that I’m having to slowly digest. It’s okay. I’m realizing that I’ve never really been ‘right’. Thank God, because I don’t think I could’ve lived my life if I had been ‘normal’.

Sometimes, lemons really are as delicious as they are bitter. That’s what being mentally…different…is like. It saves you in order to distract you from how it plans to kill you. Either way…silver lining!