Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Depression, navel gazing, Oversharing, perspective
Have you ever wished for a complete do-over? I don’t know anyone who hasn’t, at least a little bit. Nearly everyone says (and I’d bet EVERYONE THINKS) “If only I knew then what I know now.”
Recently (and I wish I could remember where) I read about a man with a particular type of amnesia, that hit him every few years and would wipe his memory clean. He’d remember stuff like how to talk and eat, but had no memory of events, people, that sort of thing. When he married, he told his wife of this, and so she keeps a very detailed journal of his life. He’s had an event twice since they married, so she unpacks her wedding dress and holds another wedding for him. She gets the journals out and lets him read all about his life up to that point, and fills in the blanks.
You know, sometimes I wish for that. Sometimes (and I know I am not alone in this) I wish I could erase from 1976 to 1985, the whole 9 years. Oh sure, there’s a few good memories in there, and someone is bound to say in the comments something about how who we are today is a result of our experiences, and I get that. But so many times I look back at those times and it’s hard to see the good in there. It was a rough time of my life, I made a whole lot of terrible decisions that have caused a whole lot of terrible regret. I hurt a lot of people, said a lot of things that should never have been said, and did a lot of things that never should have been done.
Yes, who I am today is a consequence of who I was then, and I kind of like who I am today (most of the time). So, I’d like to erase the memories without erasing the lessons learned…maybe. Can you even do that? The woman with the amnesiac husband said his character doesn’t change, just what he remembers. He falls in love with her again, each time…how exciting is that? To go through brand new love again, with the same person, without having to remember the hurtful things you may have done…that’s pretty remarkable.
So yeah, I often think I’d be willing to give up the good memories in order to get rid of the bad ones. I’d be willing to have to relearn the skills I have (since it’s not as if I ahaving to support a family with them), and read about those years in an impartial sort of way. Like..
“Oh, I played trombone in the band. Ok. Do I know how to now? No? Ok. That’s probably a good thing.” or
“No boyfriends in high school, a record collection based on parental shock value (apparently that didn’t take much, as anything that wasn’t Perry Como or The London Philharmonic was shocking), and you say I only smoked pot twice and didn’t like it either time…ok, I won’t try it then.”
Now and then a memory from that era will pop into my head, or I’ll say something that will cause one to bubble to the surface, and I’ll think “Oh no, not one of those..” and wish for amnesia. Not complete, just those 9 years. I haven’t kept up much with friends from that time, not really, so I can assume they haven’t kept up with me, and no one will be missed one way or the other. I don’t live there, nor do I foresee any reason to go back there, I simply cannot see a good reason why I need those 9 years in my head.
And here I am, 30 years later, you would think this would have been enough time to be able to put it all in a box and shove it into long-term storage, but it’s never that easy, is it.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: bipolar disorder, Depression, Oversharing, solving personal problems
In case you couldn’t tell by the tone of several recent posts, I’ve been in a Mental State lately. The Good Dr H listened to my pleas and prescribed a pill. Oh sure, you might be thinking “PILLS. Bah. Pills are for weak people who can’t manage on their own.” 25 years ago that’s exactly what I would have thought.
Damn right. That’s what I say to that. When you get to the point that you’re drinking (like a stevedore on Saturday night), and having massive anxiety for NO REASON…it’s the NO REASON that bothered me. As long as there’s a reason I can deal with it, but my life is actually going really smoothly, all things considered.
I think that pill might be starting to work. It ain’t aspirin. It doesn’t fix the symptoms 10 minutes later. It takes a good 2-4 weeks to see a difference, and I’ve been on it not quite 2 weeks.
HOWEVER. Yesterday I had the sort of anxiety that would typically send me straight into a bottle of Absolut Pear and Club Soda…and I didn’t. It was the kind of situation that I would have been frantic about (for no real reason), and I didn’t get frantic. I was able, for the first time in nearly a year, to talk myself down from it. Was it the pill? Or was it rational thinking? Or was the pill making it possible to think rationally? Who knows, who cares? Whatever it is, it worked and I am grateful.
It’s still a one-day-at-a-time situation. I am not ready to throw confetti and go YAY I’M ALL BETTER , but having one day, one event of anxiety that simply wasn’t THAT BAD, it was a relief.
The pill doesn’t solve anything. It doesn’t make me float away on a pillow cloud so I can ignore life. It calms the voices enough so I can think rationally. I still have anxiety, but it isn’t all consuming. I still have depression, but it’s not a demon whispering in my ear.
I am getting better, and this is a very good thing.
Filed under: *whinge*, Dewicate feewings, Disease and infirmity, Doctors! | Tags: bipolar disorder, Coping mechanisms, Depression, Oversharing, solving personal problems, taboos
Anxiety has been running rampant lately. I was warned. Dr H (psychiatrist) and Dr R (gynecologist) both warned me about mid-40′s perimenopausal nonsense and THERE IT IS.
Really for the last couple of years, but I thought I had stuff to blame it on, so didn’t take it seriously as a Disorderly Thing. However, since…oh…April or so it has been on the increase and with NOTHING to blame it on! I hate that! I need something to point fingers at and go YOUR FAULT YOU ASSHOLE! (yes, that’s exactly how I’d say it too. I confess to something of a potty mouth.) BUT THERE’S NOTHING WRONG! how’s that for gratitude…whining about nothing being wrong. BAH.
Anyway…I finally did something about it. After waiting for months for it to clear up on it’s own, like some sort of existential rash that hovered just under the surface, making an itch but not making anything…y’know…REALLY VISIBLE…I emailed my doctor, The Good Dr. H.
“Halpme!” I said. “I’m unhappy and anxious like a virgin bride 2 days before her wedding to a well hung hairy Irish guy! And it’s an arranged wedding! What were they thinking?!”
actually no. that isn’t what I said at all. What I did was list my symptoms and possible remedies based on past experience and reading the internets.
What he did was email me back within 10 minutes and ask for my pharmacy phone number.
Then I breathed a sigh of relief because to be frank, I am weary of relying on benzodiazepines and alcohol for relaxation. It was making me feel like a Stepford Wife. Mother’s Little Helpers and a martini after 5. How very…ugh. I was starting to feel like I needed to actually wear makeup and fix #4′s lunches in that fancy bento way good Japanese mothers do.
So anyway, I am getting a lovely prescription (around here it’s actually pronounced per-scrip-shun) for a lovely antidepressant that I’ve been on before and worked beautifully, so just knowing I’ll be feeling better is making me feel better.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: bipolar disorder, Coping mechanisms, Depression, Oversharing, responsible adult, solving personal problems
This morning it was all OHHELLOIAMMOVINGFASTERTHANYOUAREISTHATANICKELOL!
So, in the interest of we BOTH NEEDED to go to church-it’s been a month due to travel and work and more travel and more work…and it was needed. I took 1/4 a tablet, just a teeny crumb, of Xanax, just enough to smooth the covers or sand the edges or some other euphemism for slowing down a little bit but not so much that I’m drooling, got dressed, and went to church. Got compliments on the dress too, even though I’ve had it for 20 years. Literally. I bought it when CJ was an infant and his 21st birthday is in 11 days. Gotta love the classics.
Church was…nice. People missed us. They came up and asked where we’d been. That was…it’s difficult to explain but it was very, very nice. The songs were good, the sermon was…kinda…well it wasn’t horrible and I took notes so my mind wouldn’t wander. Other than a jumpy leg, and a need to sit near the out door in case I had to OUT in a hurry (which didn’t happen), it was as if it were a perfectly normal Sunday on a perfectly normal July and I was (were?) a perfectly normal person.
Then we went to the local El Sombrero (not bad Mexican if you don’t compare it to, say, Brownsville Tx, Mexican) and as we were leaving I realized it was time for the crumb of Xanax to wear off and I should start feeling scatty. Then I remembered that, for some reason, a full meal (not cheese and crackers or half an egg sandwich, like I’d been eating for the past few days) is calming. Terry opined that perhaps my brain got busy managing digestion and quit with the pointless anxiety for a while. Then I remembered also that, if I can catch it early enough, a fat rare steak (a ribeye does nicely) will have the same effect on a depression. If I start feeling the slide downhill, and eat a solid 8-12 oz steak, that depression will give up and slide back in it’s hole.
You would think, after all these years of dealing with this mess, I’d remember that. But having the attention span of a gnat means that fixing a real meal with real food and plenty of high quality protein is kind of…difficult.
Which is why God invented restaurants.
I am going to conduct a little experiment this week: Solid meals, a high protein breakfast, a lunch with plenty of raw vegs, and a high protein supper, good snacks in between (fruit most likely) and lots of water (which I drink lots of anyway, what with kidneys and all), and see if my moods straighten out and fly right. I admit to not eating that well. It’s not like I am at the fast food eating McGreasy all the time, but I do tend to grab a bite here, maybe a glass of something there,and drink way too much coffee (I know, the kidneys. Hush.)
Filed under: Anger management, Dewicate feewings, God Stuff, Sometimes she thinks too much | Tags: Coping mechanisms, Depression, Oversharing, solving personal problems
I don’t hear much about it…
What I hear a lot of, in all sorts of places from the news media to Tragic Novels, are people saying “O Woe, all this stuff wasn’t my fault, I’m being picked on! I’m just a norm person a innocent person and everyone’s picking on me O Woe!”
But y’know what? In my experience most (not all, but most) of the bad things that happen to most (not all, there are folks out there with incredible bad luck) people are the result of hasty decisions, or bad ones, or thoughtlessness or even pure-T active meanness (selfishness, whatever you want to call it). We make our own lives,for the most part.
I feel like I need to put in all those qualifiers because if I don’t someone is going to comment and tell me all about their cousin who doesn’t have a mean bone in their body and only wants joy and sunshine for everyone and yet life still dumps a massive load on her head every time she takes a step. I know there are people who can’t get a break. I know that. I am not one of those people.
But the fact is, for the most part, we form our own destiny with the decisions we make.
We also affect the lives of others with those decisions. That doesn’t mean we must spend hours evaluating every single thing we do before doing it…wouldn’t that be hard on the economy!
I remember…I think I was reading it or maybe someone said this to me…I don’t remember that but I do remember what she said . She said she prayed before every. single. decision. She prayed that God would lead her to the right toilet paper in the store, and that He would show her where to park her car so that He would be honored. As a Christian, I get understand what she was doing. Really, and I kind of respect it but…
I also think God gave us brains so we could make these decisions rationally and on our own. Ok, it’s like this. We are His children. All of us, even the ones who don’t think they are. Do you have children? Do you want your children to rely on you for Every Single Thing? It’s one thing for your 2 year old to ask to go potty,and need your help. You are delighted he asked and happy to help. What about your (normal, non handicapped) 13 year old? What if he asked to go potty and needed your help? What if I called my father (I am 47, he is 74) and asked him which stamp I should use on the envelope I’m mailing the water bill in? God gave us brains to use…
But…sometimes I don’t use them. Sometimes I really SHOULD ask Him before I go off and say or do something, and when I should, but don’t…Things Happen. People get hurt, and guess what…
IT IS MY FAULT. Because I am not perfect. There. I admitted it. ( and didn’t even die, not for a tiny bit, even)
As a human bean, I don’t like to admit to making mistakes or doing something wrong. It is embarrassing and sometimes painful. I was raised in a family that finds tremendous shame in being wrong. We have a hard time admitting it, and I grew up being pretty sure that if someone was angry with me, it would result in absolute rejection. Anger=Hate. When someone in my family was angry with someone, maybe a coworker or a fellow church member, that person was rejected and branded as being WRONG and nothing could fix that. We changed churches a lot when I was growing up. I have no real training in fixing things like a broken relationship, because I believed that if someone was angry with me, they would reject me entirely.
Then I married someone with an entirely different method of dealing with people he is angry with. He yells at them. He waves his arms around and pounds the table. Then he says “now that THAT is clarified, let’s go eat some curry.” He was raised with a noisy family that holds no grudges. It, frankly, scared the hell out of me.
Now, back to me being wrong. I did some stupid things that resulted in someone I love very much being hurt. This person knows of my fear of rejection and kept the hurt inside, not letting me know of it. And,like anything kept inside, it festered, which made it hurt even more.
Then, all that came up and out and resulted in reciprocal hurts and back and forth like tennis with a hand grenade…only…to my surprise…no one died. In fact, getting it all out and realizing the hurt I caused and being able to apologize, and ask for forgiveness was…actually, pretty cathartic, I hope for both of us. I can’t really speak for the other person, except to say I *think* (hopefully) things are better. For me, knowing what caused the problems, EVEN THOUGH THE CAUSE WAS INDEED ALL MY FAULT is a big step in making it right.
My point is that often we are the cause of our own problems. Sometimes, yes,Life craps on our heads. Sometimes, though, we poop ourselves, then try to blame circumstances outside of our control, when reality is that they are entirely within our control, we were just too blind to see it. It is terribly frightening when the eyes do open and recognize what’s going on, and the fear of the world seeing what we see and rejecting us as Awful is very real.
However, I think (hope…) that what really happens is that the world sees us and thinks “Oh, I’m NOT the only one who craps herself!” and actually might feel a little better for it, not feeling so alone in it all, perhaps. I know that’s how I feel, when I see someone make a monstrous mistake. Especially if it’s someone I know and love. I don’t hate them, reject them, or whatever. Yes, I might feel angry for a bit, but mainly I feel empathy, because I know how it hurts.
Filed under: Anger management, Dewicate feewings, Dream a little dream, God Stuff, Sometimes she thinks too much | Tags: Dachshunds, Depression, Oversharing, solving personal problems
So, in the interest of resetting my brain I was thinking of going to Tybee Island for a day, sometime this week. Only, according to the people, it’s supposed to rain every day.
I take this as a sign that I am not meant to go to the beach this week.
I believe in signs. Not the woowoo stuff of tarot cards and palm readings and things that totally kind of skeeve me, but signals that say “no, I am not supposed to do that.”
And please, don’t give me your reasons for loving tarot readings and that sort of thing. I do not like them and you will not convince me of the benefits of using them. You want to use them? Fine. Go ahead.
Sometimes it’s something as silly as my computer deleting a whiny and bitter post I’ve spent 30 minutes typing in, then I accidentally hit control instead of shift and WHOOSH…it’s gone. I will curse for a couple of seconds, then realize how self indulgent and self pitying it was,and decide perhaps it’s for the best.
It’s happened with emails, too. Perhaps I was blasting one out, in a fit of ill temper, and whoosh- it’s gone.
I see it as God being a kind editor.
We badly need the rain. It is a joy to behold. Well, the grass, that also loves the rain, isn’t a joy to behold because it’s reaching the “bush hog” stage of needing to be mowed, but the crops, the corn and peaches and soybeans, cotton and peanuts…the river which has been so low…the rain has so many benefits that my trip to Tybee seems so self indulgent I don’t want to get peevish because it might not be able to happen.
Perhaps there is a very good reason why I need to stay home this week. Other than the normal stuff like “good grief the dust bunnies are evolving into sentient beings” and needing to locate the Spot du Jour for the dogs bathroom needs. I am immensely thankful that Terry recognizes and respects my dislike of carpets and rugs, because that means the dogs bathroom du jour is easy to deal with. (Dachshunds are notoriously difficult to housetrain, and when it’s raining, they are exponentially more stubborn about going outside.)
I do have things to do, here at home. 3 skirts to make for a 12 year old girl. The 2 women (both I’ve done sewing for) asked if I could make capes for the kindergarten class (that they’re teaching) at Vacation Bible School. My Fabric Pimp is going to see if he can find purple fabric to donate, otherwise I’ll use red…but we’re talking about 2 adult sized capes for the teachers and maybe 20 for the kids. Fortunately that is 5 weeks away.
I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. This fugue has been 8 years long. It has to do with teenagers, and work, and marriage and personalities and emotional self-protection. I have built a wall around myself, a fortress of sorts. Only, it has grown more into a prison than protection, and I am trying to knock the bricks out, one at a time, so I can see light again, and maybe get to the point where (maybe? Hopefully?) I can step over the walls back into the world, and breathe something more than my own stale air. But, something that has been 8 years in the making isn’t going to come down in one day, and when you’ve been inside a fortress for so long, and become accustomed (even comfortable) to it…well…it’s not easy, is it. I am anxious. What if I am making the wrong decision to come out of this? What if I get hurt again? So, caution is in order. I must be careful. I am, however, determined to do this. I want to live. I want real friends who know me. That won’t happen as long as I stay in my fortress, hiding behind a thick wall.
Filed under: *whinge*, Dewicate feewings, oh you self indulgent hussy!, Sometimes she thinks too much | Tags: Depression, friendship
I know I haven’t been writing as much lately. I admire those bloggers who are consistently witty and funny and…loquacious. (I love that word. If I were a rapper, that would be my name.)
You know how life happens? Things rock along, you make plans for a trip (to the grocery store, to the beach, to Niagra Falls), or you see a quiet weekend and make plans to sew (or weed the garden, or watch all 3 Lord of the Rings) all peaceful and stuff…that’s how I see other people’s lives. Peaceful, with no hiccups or unexpected oncoming trains or cold sores on their lips. I see the biggest worry in their lives as being…”OH NO! I ran out of Tawdry Tart nail polish halfway through my left foot!”
I don’t much hear about the big issues, the worries about bouncing a check or having enough for groceries the next month, because apparently talking about money issues is considered Very Tacky. Everyone answers the same way when asked (in the grocery store/post office/at church) “How are you?”. We all say “Oh I’m great, how are you?” when sometimes the truth is, you aren’t great at all. But if you say “you know, I’m not doing so well.” they don’t answer with “oh, come over here and sit down. I’ll get you a cup of coffee and listen.” No. They get the ‘deer in the headlights’ look and make an excuse to get away from you as fast as they can. Because we all know troubles are contagious, right?
And we simply don’t have the time anymore. People are too busy to be able to sit down with coffee and listen. There’s Epic Shit Happening and We Need To Be Prepared. or something.
*My* problem is that I can listen all day long (and sometimes do). I am fortunate in being a housewife (homemaker, domestic engineer…pick your euphemism), and the children are (essentially) grown so I really can take the time to visit a friend who’s having troubles, drink coffee, and listen. The trouble I have, personally, is with being able to to be the one with the problems, and having someone else offer the coffee. I was raised with the idea that my problems are my own, and everyone else has their problems and are not concerned (or care) about mine. This makes it very difficult for me to share them with someone. All I can think of, when I want to talk to someone, is that they have more important things to do than listen to me whine.
The only time I was able to cut loose and whine at will was about 18 years ago, when I was in therapy to help come to grips with the Bipolar Disorder diagnosis. I realized that I was paying someone $200 an hour to LISTEN TO ME. And, because I paid for that hour, it was MINE. I could say everything I needed to say, and he, because he was a professional, never once minimized it by saying “oh yeah? Well, let me tell you about my problem which is even WORSE.”
Now, from the outside looking in, I do have a good life. I don’t want to make it seem like I don’t. But on the inside, there are problems. It isn’t perfect, and most of the problems are my fault, my shortcomings as a wife and mother. Sometimes recognizing that can be overwhelming, and I get depressed. Not just “sigh. I’m sad. I’m going to eat cheetoes and watch Wuthering Heights” depression, but the big stuff that can’t be overcome with a day of self indulgence. It’s the kind of thing like those little sponge animals stuffed into a capsule, when you throw it in water and the capsule dissolves you get this great big creature. Much of the time I can keep the thing stuffed into a capsule, a manageable size that is easily ignored. Every now and then, though, I get hit with a wave and the capsule gets wet and like something out of a cheap Japanese monster movie it grows and grows and becomes more than I can handle on my own. Except that I have to, because other people have their own problems that are more important than mine, and because that Japanese monster of an issue is ALL MY FAULT anyway, and handling it alone is my penance for causing it.
Anyway, this is the reason for the relative lack of posting. I like to post fluffy cheerful things, because I am a Southern woman, and it’s what we do. But life isn’t fluffy and cheerful right now. I have food, a roof over my head, a car that runs, and no one has died or is jail. All things considered, from the outside it looks pretty good. On the inside I am struggling. I have been for a while now. I want someone to fix a pot of coffee and ask me how they can help, then simply listen to what I have to say, without recriminations or advice or saying something about “oh yeah,I’ve got it even worse”. And without charging $200 an hour to do it.