Monthly Archives: September 2012
Okay, time to get something off my chest. Since I’ve been ill many of my IRL friends have disappeared. Friends I’ve had for decades. And I don’t think the ones who did come to visit and or who have called know how much it’s meant to me. Like Marsha Ball Edwards, Barb and Cris…and all of the support I received from the gang at The Coffee Pot.
Additionally, when I had to leave City Council because of my strokes and seizures…did anyone call? Did anyone send me a stupid fucking card? Or one goddamn raggedly-ass balloon? Nope and that hurt. You’d think that they’d have recognized my situation in some manner. I dislike saying it, but it mattered to me. I worked hard studying, trying to do my best for this town. So fuck those assholes…from the Mayor to everyone of the shits that sat around the table. Every. Last. One. Fuck them. This may sound like I feel entitled…but, it’s just good manners, for Christ’s Sake. (saying Fuck a lot may not be good manners either…but fuck it, I’m getting rid of internal shit that’s been hurting me for sometime.)
Happily, I’ve developed amazing friendships on Facebook…people who call me, help me when I need to remember that I am sick and legally disabled. Debby Polis Carter and Kristin Farley-Deem are two. Both walked me though a couple of very bad times involving ambulances and hospitals… and they both live in Florida~! Also my friend Linda…she and her husband even came up from New Braunfels TX to meet me last summer. I loved it.
I’m still ill…and now, although I’m home I still experience paranoia added to my visual and auditory hallucinations and constant seizures. I wonder if more than a handful of people knew I was in the hospital most of the last week?
Okay, I’m done. To the good ones, Thank You.
To the users…fuck off.
“I love your writing style and your vulnerability is pretty amazing. My dad was married to someone who was bipolar – it was and is still hard for me to understand. This makes me think for sure.
Artsi~! Thank you for the compliment…I love writing…and using ‘creative’ punctuation 😉
As for my vulnerability…that’s just pure honesty. As an alcoholic it’s very common for us/me to lie to everyone around me, even myself, to get what I want (usually booze and drugs). And sometimes, I’d even lie for no reason, just to lie. It’s a component of the disease shared by many. And then my Bipolar brain would throw a big Paranoia wench in there, too. I HAD to lie to stay safe and alive…I thought. I’ve lived a life fearing practically everything. So, I grew this shield, this coat to hide behind. Lots of acting in my little world…I thought I had everyone fooled…but nope. Like you, they saw a vulnerable me or a stinky nasty lying me.
And, in my Bipolar mind…I thought that everyone was lying, because that’s what we do to survive…(Man, THAT shit is truly sick.)
One part of my initial plan to get heathy was not to lie, at all, for any reason. Sounds easy, right? It’s not…not for this alcoholic. I still have to check myself on occasion and correct things if needed. And even at this stage I must remain every strict with myself. Yes, it’s been almost 4 years…but the first two of those were me just trying to walk the walk. I was still twisted up and more of a dry drunk than a recovering one. Big difference. I honestly think that it has taken until now, 4 years with no alcohol and the tremendous heath issues, for me to be clear enough, ready enough and still scared shitless of alcohol enough to prepare to learn how to live like a normal human. (I tell ya, Artsi…I’m on my knees a lot~!)
For now, that fear I have is exactly what I need. Because I am vulnerable, still.
The group I meet with has many to-the-point sayings that can turn into little prayers (for me at least). One saying is “We claim spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection.” It’s one of my very favorites…because I know that I am not perfect, will never be perfect, and I’m thankful that I am not required to be perfect…(oiy, what a burden)…but I will progress and learn about this life of mine and the world around me as it happens.
So, not drinking and consciously taking my bipolar meds are the two primary tasks in my life…and they will be for the remainder of my life. They will come before EVERYTHING else.
To be honest (!) this getting a grip thing is amazing. Even with the health issues, my bipolar rearing it’s ugly head…I am having a freaking blast. I sleep. I dream. I wake up. I laugh…because today, I know what I did yesterday. And today I will learn to love and accept myself a little bit more.
All in all, Artsi…I see my challenges as gifts…and as I nurture them, they will help me grow.
Now, about understanding Bipolar, I’ll give you this…there is a basic foundation to the disease…but from there it can take any shape. It’s a sneaky-assed bastard that you just have to keep an eye on, waiting for the tell. If you really want some very information reading material, look for any of Kay Jamison’s books. She saved me. And the books were actually quite enjoyable to read.
She’s up on my Facebook timeline…check her out if you like. (I call her the Bipolar Joseph Campbell~!) https://www.facebook.com/KayRedfieldJamison
And hang out here, too…I’ll be exploring, digging deeply into my experiences…as well, I hope, as the experiences of others.
Okay, dang…I’m moving your comment Artsi…because I just wrote a blog post and I’m going to tag you for today. Ha~!
Recently, I’ve noticed that when I find myself spiraling up into bipolar mania, I become more direct and honest. Honesty? Yep…
I’m on a whole new trip with this bipolar/alcoholic brain I have. And the lessons are tremendous. Emotionally, I’m much more sensitive to my feelings…I believe I’ve developed a personal empathy for myself. Not selfish or ego-centric self indulgence, but true feelings. This is new. My first time truly experiencing ‘feelings’.
This time, with my Bipolar and experiencing a Manic episode, I am without my alcohol for the longest period of my life. I used booze to kill the truth, to kill the feelings…but now…
I have a whole new perspective on my life, past, present and what’s next. I am no longer completely emotionally crippled by my diseases. I still struggle with my Bipolar. But, again, it’s so very different than what I went through in my past.
The biggest discovery is that I am able identify what is happening and to hold myself together, to stay safe, if I apply a deliberate mind to my actions…. And then I find I’m given many, many more answers.
I began drinking heavily at 12 years old, and since then I haven’t experienced life where I wasn’t drunk, swimming in the bipolar pool…or on the edge, waiting to do both. And though I was born bipolar and an alcoholic, I wasn’t diagnosed with the bipolar disease until about 2002, its big trigger was then traced to soon after I was 23, and raped at gun point by two men who had broken into my home. This happened twice, about ten days apart, by the same men – (Thank you, Memphis, you’re one fine fucked up piece o’ shit city.) Yep, I loved the liquor, excellent way to kill all real feelings and memories. Plus, it was able to boss my Bipolar around. Too Depressed? Drink. Pass out. No Memories~! Too Manic? Drink. Drink. Believe Every Stupid Thing Your Brain Tells You~!
All of my life I handled, wrangled and slapped that asshole Bipolar (or my ‘feelings’) with all of the alcohol I could drink…LOTS of alcohol. I bet I had at least 2 liters running through my system at all times.
And THAT would trigger more episodes. Evil/Vicious circle? Ya’betcha. I drank to live, and I lived to drink. And, of course, my bipolar was all medicated by the booze and I could pass-out (I didn’t really sleep for many many years…I passed-out instead.) Yep, it kept the bipolar at bay…I misguidedly thought.
So…this…right NOW…is the first time I’ve experienced a real Bipolar episode in my entire life…because it’s been almost 4 years (which is a fucking miracle,) since I stopped drinking. Sobriety date: 10/31/08…Halloween, baby~! Isn’t that appropriate?
At this point, I’m just on the other side of my third month of rapid cycling. Rapid cycling is when I can go from Mania to Depression several times a DAY…and sometimes At The Same Time. Scary shit, y’all…but also the part that many bipolars love because everything is very clear and sharp…we become intensely creative and we are bullet proof…and we get thirsty. Or, we self-medicate. If only the mania would just stay right in that creative crevice…but no…It has to go get all worse and crap. Bad Bipolar, Bad…now sit~! DANGER DANGER~!
Now, with eyes wide, I recognize what is happening. That this IS my danger zone with these diseases. I’m able to get medical help immediately. And I am able to meet with a group daily that keeps me in check.
It’s been very difficult, I must say. At the onset of the mania, my doctor and I had no idea what to do. We weren’t able to judge the effects of the Bipolar medications I’d taken through the years because they’d been mixed with booze. This was uncharted. We’ve had to start from scratch.
Again…It’s been really freakin’ hard…I have a bag full of meds that didn’t work…from antidepressants to serious antipsychotics.
To clarify, we’ve been adjusting my treatment for about a year and a half now…way before this manic period began. We had to start then because I began having TIAs (mini-strokes) from the anti-psychotic I was taking at that time. And then the ‘absence seizures’. And then the hallucinations. So, I know everybody’s name at the Eureka Hospital (awesome folks, love them~!) and Clinic and Smith’s Pharm and ECHO, most of the folks at Washington Regional Stroke Unit and (my favorites) the Stroke Unit at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Mo…they were super cool~! [Little story: I was Medivaced (sp?) to Mo., gained consciousness for about a minute during which I got super giddy laughing and clapping that we were on a spaceship going to the mother planet~! The woman sitting beside me told me that I was the first stoke patient to wake up laughing…then she and the pilot joined me.]
And the Eureka EMTs? OMDogs…The. Best. Ever…Ever. Amazing humans, all with the love of the job in their hearts. [One more little story and I’m out: It’s dinnertime…I’m in the kitchen at Wanda’s…that’s all I remember until I come too much later. But, the story Wanda and the EMT guys that picked me up that night tell me is that the lead guy said hi to me, asked me how I was and if I knew his name. My response was that I was just fine and his name was ‘Sweetie Pie’. I hear he’s still getting ribbed for that at the station~! Ha~!]
Life changes with every breath…I love breathing. This blog has now become my personal check point. I’m alive, and I’m heathy and I love this fucking bat-shit crazy life.
So much more…so much…I’ve just learned how to love myself, now to share the love…
[note: I’m keeping the old blog posts to myself…mainly because they are good for me to see just how ugly I could be, and how misguided. I don’t want to forget that…]