norm!

Dear Doc,

It’s almost 4pm. I’m just at this weird baseline leveled out place. I’m assuming that this is actually the goal you were talking about. That concerns me because I can’t see myself living with this state of mind for any extended period of time. This is the worst. I feel almost nothing. No up…no down…nothing. Surely, you cannot imagine this to be a better state than I was in. Feeling horrible is more preferable than feeling nothing, Doc.

I’ve given much thought to the subject of normalcy lately. I find it disturbing, to be honest with you. I’ve always considered myself to be fairly normal, but with a lil spice added. I’ve been called ‘eccentric’ and ‘weird’ my entire life. That never bothered me as much as this ‘normal’ thing is bothering me now. Eccentric and weird people have occassional flashes of genius. True, they are often followed by gut wrenching depression or mania, but they at least have amazing moments. If this leveled out situation is all there is, I don’t know what keeps the entire population of normals from offing themselves, en masse.

I don’t know what I expected. I know I did need your help and you’ve given it with grace and kindness. The very last thing that I want is to seem ungrateful. I’m not. However, I don’t think that this is a ‘fix’ that I can live with.

 

this…that…the other

Dear Doc,

I hired my son to help me improve my surroundings for the next two months. We started inside, moving furniture and unpacking all the things I’ve ordered in the last year for the house. It’s coming along very nicely.

This is the first I’ve cared about my home in a very long time. Until now, the only requirement was that it not be filthy. It was very cluttered, but I did keep the kitchen and bathroom clean. I think that’s because my grandma pounded it into me that you have to always have a clean kitchen and bath. So…that’s that. But, everything else was basically where we left it when we moved in. We lost everything before moving here. They even took my fucking Hummer, and it was almost paid for. I miss P. Diddy. That was his name. He was big and black. But, I digress…

The thing is, losing all of your material possessions and effectively bringing your net worth to $0 really sucks. It just takes something out of you. For me, I grew up at $0, since Dad spent all his money, (and he made plenty), on women, boats and booze. So I just landed right back where I started. Bennie had a much more difficult time with it, as he was raised in an upper middle class environment, and was already way off into his addiction when it happened, and it only compounded his problem. I mean, it revved it the fuck up. I hate that he died on that particular note. He felt like a failure, but it wasn’t his fault the oil industry went to Hell in a handbasket under Obama’s regime. He outdid his father by leaps and bounds during his career and I’ll always respect him, and be proud of him, for that. The man knew his shit.

When we moved here, we went from a large 3 bedroom home with formal living and dining rooms, to 685 square feet of converted garage. One tiny bedroom. It’s like an apartment, and I love this lil house, but even though material things aren’t supposed to be important, losing them is quite sobering. And, this is where the blame started going on. I won’t get into why, or what have you, but living here with Bennie was horrible. We couldn’t get away from one another. And, like I said, as long as the kitchen and bath were clean, I didn’t care about the rest of the house. I tried to keep the dust down to a minimum, and that was it.

Frankly, it was difficult to care if the sofa was in the right spot when you spent your days sitting across from a man with an AK by his side meant to intimidate you. It worked! I’ve never been afraid of guns and such, like I’ve written about before. But, there is something very disturbing about someone who, when they are tired of the sound of your voice, will quietly get up, go to the gun cabinet and get a gun, then sit down with it propped up by their chair. After he’d get the gun, if I talked when he didn’t want to hear me, or said the wrong thing, he’d put his hand on it. I spent days staring at that thing, wondering and waiting. I fully expected that he’d get me. I just didn’t know when. I guess that’s what was so bad about it. I mean, someone puts a gun in your face, you know what cards are on the table. Someone sits quietly with a gun, day after day, it’s like waiting on a Jack In The Box to pop up.

Bennie yelled at me all the time. If I said his name he’d answer ‘WHAT!!!’. He never had anything nice to say and, when he was really pissed, he’d scream in my face till he was spitting. Usually, he’d finish with actually spitting in my face to make his point clear. That was disgusting and it made me feel so fucking mad, but helpless, too. I guess that’s why I hate the whole ‘victim’ label. Because, in truth, I was one. And it’s easier to say I put up with something, as though I had a choice, than to say that my husband victimized me with his abusive ways. I’m thankful that it wasn’t nearly as bad as it could’ve been. So many women and children are beaten within an inch of their lives on a daily basis. All I had to worry about was one bullet. That’s not so bad, if you really think about it.

Well, I guess I should get off here. I’m going to get going on my decorating. I feel so free today. I don’t know why. But, it feels good.

labels

Dear Doc,

Today was a fairly good day. Mood seems stabil. I took one Abilify when I woke up, and one a few hours later. I didn’t feel sick, at all, so I think I’ll continue to take them that way.

I missed Bennie today. I know it makes no sense to you for someone to miss someone that was so cruel, but I do miss him. The brain and the heart are very different things. Whatever my brain may say is always overridden by my heart. That’s how I’m made. Although, I do understand why you say I have issues with boundaries. And, yes, perhaps my affect is off, but that’s because I don’t like to hurt people’s feelings. So, I smile. Or, at least, try to look pleasant. And, it’s also true that I can do that while I’m getting spit on and yelled at. So? I don’t know what to tell ya, Doc. I guess I shouldn’t have smiled while I was crying at your office. But, it is what it is.

I can smile through other things, too, Doc. Things I’d never tell a soul about. I’m smiling now because, if I don’t, I’ll fall apart. So, you think that there’s something wrong with misaligned facial expressions? Well, I don’t. Sometimes, they are the only way one can hide. Isn’t hiding behind a smile better than tears? I think so. I just relax and float away behind that smile, Doc. I’m not even there lol! I am not even close to there. Remember that, the next time I’m smiling while I’m crying over something in your office. You can talk. I can hear. But, really…a million miles are between us. And I like it that way. Why would you put a label on that and try to make me fix it? Dissociative? Yeah. So? It works for me. Why do I have to change?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

I don’t know how I’m ever going to get what you would consider ‘better’. I didn’t even know much, besides panic, was wrong. While I fit certain criteria, that is because those things help me. All I need is something to make the panic stop so I can work and be around people and all those things. I can’t even date. Nothing. Now, since I have all these labels, it feels like I’m at the foot of a giant mountain and, if I don’t climb it, I’m just fucked for life. Goddamn it. You make me so angry. But, I know you’re just doing your job and trying to help. I guess I’m really angry because I need help. Even so, if you hadn’t have told me, I’d have just felt like a weirdo and that’s it. Now, I feel like a fucking head case. It’s humiliating to me. Even when I’m alone, I feel humiliated when I think of the fucking labels assigned to my disposition. Yes, I know….that’s ridiculous. But it’s the truth.

I should go, Doc. I’m going to try to get up early in the morning. I just feel so…even. I don’t know if I’m comfortable with this. I’m just like everyone else today. That creeps me the Hell out.

 

abilify…it’s what’s for dinner!

Dear Doc,

Thank you for understanding about the lithium. I do think that an increased dose of Abilify might do the trick. Although, I’m still unclear about what ‘the trick’ is. I remember you saying that ‘happy’ is not the goal; mood stability is the goal. So, does that mean that it’s better to be full-time depressed, or full-time manic? What if I do accidentally stumble across ‘happy’? Will it stay? Can I capture it like one of those lil monsters in that weird game? I’m honestly curious.

The new meds are making me feel as though I have the flu. That’s still a huge improvement on the lithium, which made me feel as though I were going to actually die. But, when I first take this, I can feel my brain reacting to it. Literally. I don’t think it likes it. And I don’t like that feeling.

I keep telling myself that this is all for the best. But, is it? Really? Am I so fucked up that totally blacking out my personality is an improvement? Yes, I realize that I came to you. You did not seek me out. Even so, I never dreamed so much would surface about my life. It just shook me up. And, I still feel shaken. You opened a Pandora’s Box and I cannot seem to close it. I don’t want these memories. That’s the main thing. I wish you could erase them without erasing me. I think I’ve pain a high enough price, now I have to give up myself? Shit. That’s so unfair. What about the others? I want to know they’re burning in Hell now. I do. And I know that’s horrible. But they deserve it.

Do you think I’d be like this, anyway, Doc? You said the bipolar stuff is genetic, and the rest is the result of childhood trauma. Sooooo…really? I wonder. I just can’t help but think that maybe this is just me and I’m supposed to be this way. Except for the crying part. That’s just embarrassing. I have to figure this out for myself. I’ve never been so confused in my life. Now, I’m taking this medicine with no real idea of what is going to come of it. If I could just get over the panic, I’d be fine, Doc. I mean…I just need to get over that. I wish you understood that. I’m sure you do, and I know you mean well. You aren’t a stupid man, so I know that you probably know what’s best. But, still…I feel so…I don’t know. It doesn’t matter, anyway. Never has. Why should this be any different?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

random

under the velvet black
i emerge
my mind; amped up
i’m tingling
breathless
thoughts soar about my brain
i can feel them, i swear it
i never feel as alive as i do when i’m manic
living suits me; Death can’t touch me

at such times
i crave the red
deep, dark
warm on my tongue
exquisitely satisfying on so many levels
i imagine that i will, one day, stumble upon a new donor
someone who cares
for people
like me
a giving soul
who would much rather give than receive
mmmmm…one day…

the crash always comes before i’m ready
forced back into the Never-be
like a dirty ol dishrag, i’m tossed aside
i feel the light go from my eyes
and a heaviness fills my heart and soul
thoughts that once raced have ceased to be
and every one is a distant memory
true Darkness falls
i am crushed by its weight
days and nights run together in a river of misery
nothing excites
nothing entices
i am in the deep part of the river
and cannot find my depth
i find life unsettling; i welcome Death with open arms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

hocus pocus

Dear Doc,

It’s getting late. This has been quite the day. I am not sure what’s going on with me, but it’s not good. I’m out of withdrawals, having taken a couple of Zoloft today. But I’m still very dizzy and nauseous…blurry vision…feeling like I might pass out. I was feeling better earlier and drove to town to get cigarettes and a sandwich. Big mistake. I almost didn’t make it home. I blanked out for about five miles; totally lost any concept of where I was, though I did know I was trying to get home. I finally passed a sign that sort of snapped me out of it and I made it home ok. I’ve also been hallucinating all day. Snakes, dogs, people.

I don’t know what the Hell is going on, but it wasn’t happening before Lithium. I’m not taking it anymore. I’m not going to end up like my brother. All that I needed was a pill for panic. That’s it. Now, I’m diagnosed with all this scary ass shit and my life is upside down in terms of how I see both my past and my future. Seriously. Before Lithium, I saw big black bugs that were obviously not real in any way, and that was only when I was stressed beyond stress. This shit I saw today, while I wasn’t afraid because I knew I was hallucinating, was very realistic. All I could think about what that I’ve fucked up my brain chemistry with ‘just a lil salt’, as you put it, and now I’m on a different road. If you think I’m going to stay on this road…please understand why I cannot.

https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a681039.html

The above link should help you understand, since I have most of those symptoms. They are almost identical to withdrawal symptoms, except that it is impossible for me to be in withdrawal at this time. I’m really scared, Doc. I’m alone and can’t get anyone on the phone. I live in the fucking boondocks. Yeah…I’m scared. I feel fine for a few minutes, then back to this. I feel like I’m going to vomit. I really needs some help. Shit. I don’t know what to do. But I do know that it’ll be a cold day in Hell’s bloody belly before I take more Lithium.

You must think me a most ungrateful patient. I’m not. I still think you’re kind and smart and compassionate. But you need to listen to me. Don’t tell me that it hasn’t had time to work. If it weren’t interacting with my brain chemistry at this very moment, I wouldn’t be hallucinating. And I wouldn’t be worried about having a seizure. So…I’ll be talking to ya on Monday. I hope you’re not disappointed. I am. I truly believed this was the answer. Trust me, it isn’t.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Doc,

I hope your Saturday is going well. Mine has gotten off to a good start. Compared to yesterday and the ongoing Lithium/Zoloft withdrawal issues, today is a cake walk, thus far.

The ssri withdrawal was horrible throughout the day, yesterday, and long into the night, Around 1a.m., I started having intense waves of nausea, ears began to ring loudly, and I was unsteady on my feet. (I had tried to get up to retrieve my Zoloft), to the point that I felt as though I was going to pass out. I fell back onto the couch and grabbed my handbag to search for Zoloft. Fortunately, there was one in the bottom. I took half of it, and that didn’t stop anything, so I took the rest. Within a half hour, I felt normal again. So, I’m going to go ahead and stay on it, if you don’t mind. Or, if you do mind. I can’t go through that again. I’ve been trying to get off of ssri’s for two decades, to no avail. I wish my original prescribing doctor had let me know this could happen, and how bad it could be. Had they explained, as it was later explained to me in the ER, that the withdrawals are only slightly less intense than heroin withdrawals, I’d never have begun taking them.

As far as my moods are concerned, I’m still cycling throughout the day. I hate the feeling of never quite knowing when the bottom will fall out, again. While my lows are still just as low as they were before, the highs are coming down, a bit. Even so, it is still a great fall from any height to the bottom of my lows. I’ll be normal…my normal…for a few hours; maybe more, maybe less. Then, out of nowhere, comes the tears and this freefall into total darkness. It usually only lasts for about an hour, so I’m thankful for that. Then, I feel myself amping up, topping out at around a seven. That’s much better than I was doing pre-lithium, when I’d top out at about twenty lol!

You know, Doc, I wish I could just stop being so afraid. I know you want to take things slowly, and gradually work though my mood issues and, then, onto panic, but I would love it if you could just give me whatever pill you’re going to and let me try to live a little. I can’t even sit in traffic unless I’m not side by side with the other cars. I want to do so much, and I can’t do it like this. I need to remember to ask you how long does it take to ‘work through’ this and that. And, please do not tell me that it takes as long as it takes.

I’ve been grieving a lot lately. It’s been sixteen months sine Bennie died and set me free. Yet, I still cry because I miss him so much. What’s wrong with me, Doc? Why do I miss someone who despised me? I tell myself that I was just used to him being around. That may be true, but for the last year he lived, if he got mad at me, he’d go get his AK and set it by his chair, never saying a word. He didn’t have to. I wasn’t afraid of dying, but I was concerned about the reasons why he would try to be so threatening. That’s it…the threat. I often wished he’d go ahead and kill me. The only thing I was fearful of was being caught unaware because, if he decided to pick that gun up and shoot me, I wanted him to look me in the face and do it like a man. I didn’t want him to have an easy out. I guess that Time won out on all of that. Here I sit, still missing that monster.

Goodness gracious! Time is flying, Doc. I’d better get going and take care of some chores. Talk soon…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a lil bitch & moan before bed…

Dear Doc,

It’s a quiet night here, in Mayberry. I’m so tired. I mean…to the bone. but I can’t get to sleep. My brain hurts from the rushes of thoughts that pound away at it like waves to the shore. I just want it to stop.

I was looking at other blogs here, all written by bipolar people. They all seem to have a real point of view that I lack. I’m not trying to educate anyone. I guess my blog is about what daily life is like when you’re a fucking nut. Even so, I wish I had a tiny bit of what they all have to offer, but I’m all out of creativity and all I want is for this to stop. Yes, I am still indignant. How very perceptive of you…Maybe if I just say, “I’m what I’d call nuts, and that’s ok!”, then I’d be okay with it. Unfortunately, I am exactly what I’d call nuts, were it anyone else, and I am not okay with it. I want a fucking do over and I want it now.

I’ve been through all of this before, but I didn’t know anything was really wrong, except that I was a total failure. I guess that having these labels to put on things makes me feel like I HAVE to face them RIGHT NOW. That’s how I’ve always been. I think I’m going to stop that. I have to, or  I don’t think I’m going to get better. Ever.

You know what, though…I’m learning to take all these time limits off of everything I do. That’s something I’ve always done, but it’s been worse since Bennie died. So, I just stopped. I have a house full of boxes to unload and clothes to put away, but they’ll be there when I wake up. If I ever get to sleep lol I noticed it today, actually. I took a deep breath and relaxed. Then it dawned on me what had just happened. It felt weird. But so good. So, I guess things really aren’t that bad.

I guess I’ll have a couple of smokes and, at least, lie down and get some rest.

Peace out, Boy Scout!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

manic panic

Dear Doc,

Two things I learned yesterday:

  1. It hasn’t been the lithium that has been making me feel so good. I haven’t been on it long enough for it to work, as you explained. I have been manic. That’s all. So, I have to accept that and try to make myself understand that it’s part of who I am and stop trying to find reasons/excuses to explain it all away.
  2. The symptoms I’ve been experiencing, though they are identical to lithium toxicity/intolerance, are the result of Zoloft (sertraline) withdrawal. I looked it up because I knew that, if the physical symptoms I was having were not lithium related, it had to be the Zoloft. As I explained to you on my first visit, I have only been taking it to avoid the withdrawals. The list of withdrawal symptoms in this article is not complete, as withdrawals can vary from one person to another. However, I’ve tried to stop it before, with no success, due to the symptoms I had, but I just didn’t remember till late last evening, when it dawned on me like most other things I forget about…like a bomb!

http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/withdrawal-from-antidepressants#2-3

I can’t tell you how embarrassed I was talking to you on the phone about all of this. You must think I’m some sort of drama queen. Truth be told, I am. But, that’s just something you’ll have to fix. lol! I called N and let her know that I figured out the root of the problem. I should’ve already known that, as I have had severe withdrawals in the past, ending up in the ER once after passing out. Fortunately, I choked on my own vomit and that work me right up! I assumed you wanted me off of the Zoloft when you prescribed the lithium and abilify. If you said anything I don’t recall. In fact, I was going to ask permission to record the last part of our sessions, if you have any new directions/information to provide. I just don’t remember things. Blessing/curse territory, that.

I noticed, yesterday, that you were ‘handling’ me. I understand that is part of your job and that you do that for a reason. But, I guess that I have just never looked at myself as someone who needs to be ‘handled’. I’m not crazy, or a hypochondriac, or anything of that sort. On the other hand, I do have a list of issues and I’m sure that you get many calls every day from people wanting to talk about their issues. I felt I needed to report the symptoms while I was having them, or I’d simply forget about it. And, I would not have emailed you if I had realized what the core issue was. But, I’d been up for almost three days, I think. And, before that, I think I’d gotten three hours of sleep. So, hell yeah, I was concerned. For $250 and hour, I felt as though I could email or call in an emergency, and, yesterday, I was reaching a point. Let’s leave it at that.

I fell asleep at three something this morning and slept till just past 8. I feel exhausted, and very much like I sort of crashed. I am still talking talking talking too fast and too long. I just cannot shut the fuck up. But I’m more calm this morning, and I’m happy about that. I have several tasks I wish to complete today, so I put them on my phone calendar. I’m going to take my time and do one thing at a time, to completion. I may not get finished with everything on my list, but I have to at least manage to finish something. So, that’s the goal: Try for everything, but at least finish one thing. I think that’s reasonable.

I had another chat with my friend in the wee hours of this morning. He is a shaman and doesn’t even realize it. He’s the only one who knows about a certain aspect of my life, because he asked the question. Of all the people I’ve known in my life, he is the only one perceptive enough to pick up on things I say and such and to understand and empathize. What he knows about me, nobody knows. It feels good, though, to know that someone out there cared enough to ask and is open enough to accept and help me through the horrible answer.

I think God truly does work in mysterious ways. I’ve always believed that the people who come and go from your life are meant to. Some stay, some are friends for a season, some are there for only one reason. It’s a beautiful thing, when you think about it. I hope that I can be as good a friend as to my lil shaman as he is to me. His wisdom is precious to me, and it comes from a very deep well. I honestly don’t think he realizes the impact he has. I thank God for letting us cross paths.

On that note, I’m gong to go attempt to complete my first task. Fingers crossed!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ummm…yeah, it’s like that.

Dear Doc,

I’m having a pretty big spin out today. I’ve been a lil outta sorts, but not in an angry way. It really started last night while I was chatting with a friend online…

You know, many of us suffered abuse as children. It’s a disgusting fact of life that,  I believe, has spared no generation since time began. There is no type of child abuse that doesn’t leave a scar. However, there are some types of abuse that devastate you…that level you like a bomb went off in your soul. You grow up keeping secrets; your own and those of your abusers. The more twisted the secret, the quieter you keep. Even as a child, you are keenly aware that there are things so wicked in this world that nobody would believe they even exist unless they actually saw the evil with their own eyes. Even more so, the gravity of the consequences, should you tell a living soul, could cost you your own.

Having been a keeper of wicked secrets, I have flown under that particular radar for almost my entire 50 years of living. Until last night, during an online chat with a friend. He just came out and asked me if I’d experienced a certain type of abuse. I was so taken aback that I answered him before I could think of a way to avoid the question. I don’t like to lie, so I don’t, but I will avoid the fuck out of pretty much anything that would be more easily lied about. Yep…I’m not as hard of hearing as some think I am. 😉

LATER…

Doc, I guess that, what I really want, is a guarantee that this will go away.  I don’t want to discuss it, and I don’t want it to be at the forefront of my mind. If you could see what I saw, and experience what I did, you’d understand why. It’s the same reason that I don’t watch gory movies, or movies with demons in them. It’s why I don’t do a lot of things. It’s why I didn’t fight back at Randy’s party that time…or ever. I just can’t fight it, or what it did to me. And now, I’ve gone and told someone. I am ashamed. Humiliated, really, though that was never his intention by asking that question.

I cannot bear the thought of being thought of, in any way, as a victim. I know you don’t understand why, but I can’t explain it to you. It’s just the worst thing anyone could ever be. And I know that I could’ve figured out a way to…I don’t know…but even children can do something about things like that. Right? I had one teacher who, I think, would’ve listened to me. I’m not sure she’d have believed what I had to say, though. I couldn’t risk it. So, yes, I’m fucking indignant about some of your diagnoses because they make me sound like a stupid bitch. Your labels make me feel guilty and wrong and so goddamned ashamed. I know it isn’t your fault. And, I’m not mad at you. But, you have to try to see things from where I stand. I know you do try, but I’m not sure that you’ve led the type of life that allows you to really consider depravity on a certain level.

You know that I never told Bennie? I think he knew, because I do have some strange habits. Even though I’m a Christian, I still make and carry charms and have a few ritualistic idiosyncrasies. I know God doesn’t like that and I really need to change it. I guess that I’m afraid to. I wish I could say why, but I don’t think you could handle it, Doc. You’re such a kind person and you’re so peaceful that I would never want someone like you to know.  There are some very bad people in this world. That’s what I know more than anything. There are some really great ones, too. So, I just want to really try to be like them and forget the other stuff. Ok?

I better go, Doc. I have only slept three hours in the last two days. I feel amazing and horrible at the same time. I feel like bugs are crawling all over me and, now and then, I see one on my arm. They don’t look real…it’s like the kind I told you about. It just drives me absolutely nuts. But, I’m good. In fact, I’m kinda great, sleep or no sleep…my life is changing, already.

Okay, I’m outta here. Fat Pat ain’t gonna listen to himself! 🙂