Category Archives: Uncategorized

Aunt Lita’s Divinity ⬅ The Devil’s Work

My friend, Lori and a couple of her friends are putting together…on the fly…a cookbook to sell and donate to those who have been, and are still, suffering from the effects of Sandy.

She put out a blanket request to her friends for contributions. These are flowing in~! (Another in a very long list of brilliant ideas from our Lady Lori — find her here: Social Media Design.)

So, I’ve sent in one already…going to work on #2 this morning.

I know though, right? It’s simply ludicrous to think of me in a kitchen…they are such evil places. Remember: meatloaf is the devil’s poop.

Anyway, here is a preview of my contribution…I’ll absolutely be loading the finished link as soon as it becomes available.

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I don’t cook. I stink the big one at cooking, and it’s all my father’s fault. He was an Army Officer who loved considering himself to be an amateur gourmet chef (such an oxymoron.) Mom was absolutely okay with that. When he retired he took the hobby even more seriously. He did ALL of the cooking. Mom was still okay with that. But I wasn’t. I couldn’t even walk into the kitchen to put together a PB&J without him standing in the doorway to make sure I wasn’t messing with his prized knives or opening jars incorrectly. Yep. My main complaint growing up was…[in VERY whinny and emotive voice] “Dad, can’t we please have hamburgers tonight? I’m tired of escargot.” Yes, tantrums were had.

This, of course, lead to the fact that I’ve never dated a man who couldn’t cook, much less married one. Because I sure as tooting’ wasn’t going into any silly kitchen.

Dad passed on awhile ago, so it was mom’s turn to learn. Again, I was saddled with the role of ‘taster’ or as I refer to myself–Child Bedeviled By Beginner’s Borscht. She turned to her sisters for help; one is in Louisiana, the other in Texas, so all of the recipes she got from them were loaded with butter, or, for heaven’s sake, Lard!

This actually made me quite happy at times. Sugar, butter, lard and I became friends. Yeah, I’ma bad girl. Lard is like the leather jacketed bad boy on a Harley in recipes these days. I love that bad boy. (I did once try to establish myself as a Vegetarian…my dear Mother laughed so hard she squirted Dr. Pepper out of her nose. Which wasn’t pretty, because she had peanuts in that soda, too. Yep, she’s from Texas.)

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Now, for the rest of the story…and the recipe…just hang on to your ass…it’ll be coming SOON.

* smoochies, dolls

Aunt Lita's Evil Divinity

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Four Fucking Years–No Alcohol, Lots of Bipolar…Yeow~!

Today is a very special day for me.

On this day, four years ago, I stopped contributing to a personal debilitating and destructive addiction, alcohol. Until then…I had never gone more than a very few days without drinking since I was 12 years old. Yes, you read right…12 years old. And I never drank just a little…I drank a-motherfuckin-lot. By my last days, I was consuming a average of a liter of Brandy a day. I’ve missed much living because of the blackouts, hangovers and not going places because there wouldn’t be any alcohol. I’ve missed 40 years.

Now…mix that addiction with my Bipolar Disease and I was a powder keg (<–no pun, honest~!) The amount of alcohol I consumed directly corresponded with my Bipolar highs and lows. When I was becoming very manic, I drank to bring me back to a more ‘normal’ place…and when I was headed towards a dark depression, alcohol and the Bipolar LOVED each other. The isolation, the crying, the Oh-Woe-Is-Me crap was duly fed and comforted like an old friend.

There were actually only one or two events when I would not drink…1) whenever I was performing (theater, including rehearsals — but not including my other aspects of theater involvement, like directing) or 2) whenever I was working with teens…including many years back, at the Lane House, teaching, leading and being creative. Those events alone had the ability to fill that thing inside of me that otherwise could only be filled with alcohol.

These last four years without alcohol have been spent just learning how to walk, talk, breath and understand how to truly feel, emotionally. Additionally, learning about this Bipolar thing…without the self-medication of alcohol…whoa~!…it’s been a fucking trip.

But, with perseverance, I’m learning how my brain works. I had no idea how deeply the Bipolar goes…how real, how prevalent the suicide tendencies are, how angry I can truly get, how paranoid I am, and how the years of taking medications (the doctor ordered kind) were basically a waste…the alcohol nullified them. So now (or actually, four years ago) I began the process of finding the right meds. On average this can take up to two years to achieve for my type of Bipolar (yes, there are different types.)

Last year I had a fucked up alarm go off, which physically slammed me into a wall. I developed Tardive Dyskinesia (mini strokes) from one of the Bipolar meds I’d been taking and also began having ‘absence’ seizures. As treatment, all of the meds I was on at the time had to be cleared out of my system. Eventually, I was left with just me. Another first.

Both alcohol addiction and Bipolar Disease are alike in that they are progressive…whether they are being treated or not. Example, if a drinker stops for a year, and then starts up again…that person will quickly escalate to right where they left off, and usually the need has even increased. With Bipolar the similarity lays in the fact that left untreated (or removed from medication) causes the disease to escalate exponentially.

When my time came to begin the treatment cycle again…we knew it was going to be a long haul. The medications I was once taking didn’t work on the second go around. It was time for trial and error where new meds take up to six weeks to judge their affect.

It’s during this half time show I got slammed by a full blown psychotic episode. The beast grew for a couple of months…which read on the surface as if I was really doing well. That ‘well’ was actually hypomania, the lower, beginning stages of a good old fashioned manic attack. Unfortunately, I was not being medicated…and I started spiraling up.

But I hid these facts from everyone…I just wasn’t sure, I had never been through an episode without my alcohol or drugs. It was a whole new feeling. Without the alcohol to help me suppress the mania…it grew and grew and grew…in the early stages it mimicked my bouts of Tardive Dyskinesia and the seizures. I was confused. It wasn’t until I started ‘seeing’ shit and hearing the voices that it became clear I was experiencing psychosis. I shook all of the time. I didn’t sleep for days…or just barely. My paranoia was huge. I disengaged from all of my closest friends. Spewing hate so they wouldn’t try to contact me. I covered my windows because I knew people where looking in to see what I was doing. I stopped answering the phone. I didn’t trust anyone. No one.

Okay, all of that was a process, blahblah…and I’m okay today, I made it…but I began writing this not to focus on the Bipolar…but, for one reason…to celebrate. That’s right, celebrate~! No alcohol for FOUR FUCKING YEARS…and damn, it feels so very good. This is huge for me, friends. Huge. And I’ve got to let this post dangle a bit because I just got all weepy and need to go hug my mom. Wow. Four years.

Dear Hallucinations, I’m going to miss you…

Today I watched  a tiny elephant walk across my bed…I heard a radio talk show (I don’t own a radio), watched a woman sit down on my couch…and MORE and more and more…when the new meds/dosages begin to work (4 to 6 weeks) I’ll be good again. Maybe. we’ll see.

 

Today was unique…it as the first time I had hallucinated an interaction, talking to my mother. Later I would ask her something about our talk…and she said we never talked about…whatever. I did that three times at least…

aww shit, I gotta go…here’ a vid:

 

Ah…I’m Done. It’s just too hard.

News: I avoided the latest on-coming mania carnival…thanks to meds which have taken away my personality and left me flat and uncaring. So I’m heading into traffic…
The rest of it:
I don’t sleep. I don’t want to take the new antipsychotic my Doc prescribed, because the voices and visions were fascinating…when they didn’t scare the holy living shit out of me…they were my ONLY source of entertainment.
I’m SUPER paranoid. I don’t trust anyone. NO one. I even convinced myself that one of my dogs didn’t really like me. I deleted over 200 Facebook friends. Closed several other social accounts.
I have constant pressure behind my eyes.
Emotionally I’m either flat or angry.
I isolate.
I have a very difficult time expressing myself beyond a keyboard. I’ve started and trashed so many posts since my last video. I get a couple of paragraphs written, my mood changes and I chuck it. I’ve also tried to make another video…but I hesitate, too often trying to find words…and I just become lost.
So, fuck it.
Additionally, those of you who express ‘I’m so sorry, Janet’…’Just get some rest’…etc., move me to feel nothing but the desire to puke on your shoes.
Carpe your own motherfucking diem, motherfuckers, I’m off to inhale meds and try to sleep.
And to all of my friends who have disappeared…I guess I must have unwittingly gotten in your way when you asked for my help. I honestly didn’t know that all of you were just using me.
I’m such a fucking idiot.

Hey, Motherfuckers…

Not so good the last several days…after i was sent home from the hospital I have been removed from most all of my meds (maybe not such a bad idea…but) I am currently experiencing what is referred to as Mixed affective episode or a Mixed state (psychiatry)
In the context of bipolar disorder, a mixed state is a condition during which symptoms of mania and clinical depression occur simultaneously. Typical examples include tearfulness during a manic episode or racing thoughts during a depressive episode. Individuals may also feel incredibly frustrated in this state, since one may feel like a failure and at the same time have a flight of ideas. Mixed states are often the most dangerous period of mood disorders, during which substance abuse, panic disorder, suicide attempts, and other complications increase greatly. (thanks for some of that info, Wikipedia.) So…I’m reclusive, and unable to concentrate on anything. The phone is off…as will facebook, soon…my anger is uncontrollable and my meds are just fucking me up further. That is what meds I have…since I go to a free clinic, I run out (cold turkey =extreme danger) all of the time. The car and the hose are looking pretty good to me today…only holdback, Wanda. I would never do anything to cause her pain. SO…my phone is off, I’m unlogging from facebook for a while.

Laugh while you can, Motherfuckers…life is a pile of monkey feces…take a bite, it tastes like your soul.

Do you ever…

It’s a feel good day…and I’m rollin’ with it~!

Rant…for my closest:

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.

In honor of my grandmother, May Alexander on Grandparents Day

A Comment & Its Reply Turn Into a Post. Poof~!

Original Comment Submitted 7/9/2012, Author: Artsifrtsy artsifrtsy.wordpress.com  /  artsifrtsy@yahoo.com

“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.

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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~!

I Can’t Wait To See What I Do Next…or Bipolar Boozing…How Fucking Awesome~!

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…]