Monthly Archives: June 2015

An Open Letter To My Best Friend

You won’t read this because you don’t go on the computer and stay away from social media. That’s ok I’m writing it anyway.

I met you when we were 12 years old. I remember we had to get shots for school or something, our mother’s were talking but we weren’t. I remember thinking how pretty you were and how you must have a lot of friends. We did start talking and it turned out you didn’t have a lot of friends. We shared the same strange sense of humor, liked horror movies and the same music. The music turned out to be Judas Priest, Motley Crue, Kiss, and all the band’s from that time. We worshiped them. It was just you and me against the world. Even though I have a twin sister I was closer to you. You understood me.

At 17 we hooked up with an older crowd of guys. This did neither of us any good. You could handle it, I could not. At times you were so oblivious to what was really going on it was frustrating. When I tried to tell you some of it a few years ago you had doubts. If there is one thing a person with Bipolar is good for it’s remembering the bad stuff. There were times I physically had to get between you and a group of guys because you didn’t pay attention to your surroundings. They would try to literally grab you. You didn’t even notice. I would step in and take care of it. There was a time a girl was looking for you at a party. She had a gun in her purse and was pissed you were dating her ex. Someone pointed me out to her and said “that’s her bodyguard you might want to rethink things”. She left really fast. I punched one of your boyfriends in the face when I found out he had hit you. I did these things because you never judged me and always loved me no matter what.

As we grew older things changed. My drinking was out of control. I started to notice a few things I didn’t like. You had a new boyfriend but refused to tell the old one that things were definitely over. I liked the new one. He’s kind, generous and thoughtful. He was living with you and I couldn’t understand why you wouldn’t tell the other one the truth. So in my drunken obnoxious state I did. You were furious. It was our first fight in 20 years. You told me what right did I have getting involved when I’ve never even had a boyfriend or been in love. This broke me. Her boyfriend could see that and made her stop. He said ” can’t you see what you are doing to her? That’s enough!”. One of the few people to ever speak up for me. The next morning she crawled into my bed crying and said how sorry she was. The damage was already done.

Not long after that I was diagnosed Bipolar and quit drinking. I think you resented the fact that I wasn’t working. You were tired of the drama. You were part of a couple and I wasn’t. Alcohol was always around. When I did come over I talked more to the boyfriend than you. I realized we didn’t have much in common anymore. You don’t watch tv or movies, you don’t care about clothes, hair or make-up. You do care about cleaning and your yard. You don’t want to hear any bad news or anything negative because you get enough of that “at your job”. You’re a mail carrier not a bartender or a shrink so I don’t know why you’re hearing everyone’s problems at work. The last time I saw you it killed me. You rolled your eyes as I┬ápulled up. I’m not stupid and I’m not paranoid. This was a month ago and I haven’t talked to you yet.

All of this hurts me. But I understand. It isn’t easy being around me. I don’t want to be around me. This is the hand I was dealt so I’m doing the best I can to keep my head above water. It isn’t easy I have to look for a reason everyday. There are days I can’t find one and those are the hardest. The isolation. I wish you knew the price I have paid to try to get better. Sometimes the price is too high, people ask too much of me. I am a burden and I know this. I also know I love you and we had some good years out of the 30 we’ve known each other. I don’t blame you or anyone else that choses not to be in my life anymore. It’s ok I will carry on.

Never Discuss Politics, Religion, or Money (A Family Rule)

My father had always had the mentality that you never discussed certain subjects around a group of people. When it came to Religion it was up to us to decide what we wanted to believe in. The same with politics. He never pushed us in any one direction. I love him more for that. He might not agree with our choices but he let us make them. I learned a long time ago to keep my mouth shut about most things. There are too many right fighters out there. I refuse to take the bait. They don’t want to have an intelligent conversation where both sides listen, they just want to argue until they are blue in the face and you give in. My mind can’t handle it. Or maybe I’m the right fighter and just don’t want to admit it. Who knows?

I have been sober for 6 years now. I did it without help. My brother-in-law has been sober maybe almost a year with the help of AA. He loves AA. A lot of people do. It just wasn’t for me. I get questioned about it frequently. Why I even feel the need to answer I don’t know. I am tired of lying to people about why it wasn’t for me. So I’ll tell you. I didn’t like the fact that they would say they were not a Religious organization then force you to say the Lord’s prayer at the end of the meeting. This may have been in my geographical location only I don’t know. If you didn’t say it you were given dirty looks and told that you would “fail” in your sobriety. This I did not like. I was told to get on my knees every night and ask for help. If I didn’t I was doomed to fail. I was doomed to fail because I wasn’t ready to get sober yet. Plain and simple. I also have a lot of issues with Religion. I believe in the Earth, the Sky, the Ocean, Wildlife, things of that nature anything else I’m not sure of. As for Politics we’ll leave that for another day.

On my way to my sister’s house today a very expensive sports car flew by me. It was orange and had religious sayings painted all over it. My first thought was “jackass”. My second was if I did that with my beliefs on my car I’d be pulled over every 10 minutes. So what gives some people the right to do this and not others? How come some people can tell me I should be sterilized but if I respond I’m the one to get flagged or called names? So I continue to stay silent like I always have except here. Because the real world doesn’t listen to someone like me and it never did. I am invisible in the real world.

A Family member said to me recently ” you must get asked out a lot now that you’re thin, I mean you were always pretty but fat”. What do you say to that? I wanted to shock her and say ” actually I got more men when I was a fat drunk” but I didn’t. It’s true but I kept it to myself. I have not interacted with the opposite sex in about 6 and half years. I have to figure myself out first. There’s still so much to do but I can’t force it. I do have to find my voice, stutter or not. Swallowing all this negativity will eventually kill me.

So the next time someone tries to lecture me on AA or asks an inappropriate question I am going to answer them. If they don’t like my answer they shouldn’t have asked.

Weight For Me

A lot of you may know that I spent the majority of my life in the body of a 250 pound person. When I was diagnosed as Bipolar then with Celiac Disease things began to change. I also began my journey of sobriety. The meds can make you gain or lose weight, it’s difficult to find food that is appealing and affordable for Celiac and alcohol bloats you and puts on the pounds.

The combination of meds I have taken for the last few years made me lose weight rapidly, I am also always sick from the Celiac because mine stays active. I lost 120 pounds in less than a year. It looks like more because I have a muscle wasting disease caused by the Celiac. It shows mostly in my face. There isn’t anything I can do about it. I also no longer have the trigger in my brain that tells me I’m thirsty, this leads to dehydration.

I bring all of this up because it is difficult to respond to people who haven’t seen me in awhile. People don’t realize the things they say. I often get the response of “You must be so much happier now that you are thin”. Actually I’m not. My brain has trouble processing it when I look in the mirror. I also didn’t lose the weight in a healthy way. This leaves me in an awkward position. Do I tell the truth or do I lie so everyone feels better? Why do they have to assume my happiness depends on my weight? My sister tells me I look awful, like a skeleton. My father has asked that I don’t lose anymore. Others say I look good. I looked up my height and age and I am within my target weight. I’m just tired of the comments and questions.

I’m also tired of going clothes shopping alone. My sister refuses because she is no longer thinner than me. I cry in dressing rooms. I was always complimented on my style as a plus sized woman. Now I can’t even decide on a pair of socks. It shouldn’t be this way should it? I should be enjoying this time. I try not to let other people bother me but guess what? I’m human and Bipolar and over sensitive. I think robes should make a good fashion statement. I love pajamas. Maybe I’ll stick to those.

My Happiness Is

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These are some of the things that make me happy. Animals, photography, and making jewelry. Don’t let anyone tell you that what makes you happy is stupid or a waste of time. If you enjoy it, do it. If you want to give praise to someone or a group of people that have inspired you or helped in some way, DO IT.

Yes they have handlers and security that monitor whenever their names are mentioned. Guess what? I don’t care. I don’t want anything from anyone. I learned a long time ago to never expect anything from anyone. What I do expect is respect as a human being, which I am. At least that’s what my birth certificate says. I will continue to name the names of songs and people who have in some way touched me or made me see things in a different way. If they don’t like it they can tell me. I’ve never really been too negative to anyone. Freedom of Speech, I think you’ve heard of it.

The Power of Grief

You read about the stages of grief. Denial, anger, depression, etc. but there really is no timeline for grief. Is it a year? Is it 7 years? I don’t know. I have read that people who have been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder feel grief stronger and longer than a person without Bipolar Disorder. I believe this to be true based on my own experiences.

I still grieve for lost pets. The grief I feel for my mom is at times unbearable. It gets to the point where I can’t function. I cry, stutter, and shake for most of the day. This usually happens in April and February. April is when her birthday is and you have Mother’s Day around the same time. February is the month she passed away in.

Today was an extremely bad day for me. I don’t know why. I knew it as soon as I woke up. I tried all my tricks and nothing was working. I decided to go get an iced coffee for me and my dad. Of course as I was walking up our front steps I dropped mine. I was then yelled at for making a mess. Mind you it was outside and a hose is next to the steps. I said I would clean it up but was told I wouldn’t do it right. My dad is weird about the yard and landscaping. I felt like more of a burden. His birthday is tomorrow and he will be 72. He’s on dialysis and cleaning up my mess. So of course I am inside crying. Which frustrates him and makes him feel helpless so he yells. I decide to call it a day at 2pm. I hide in my room, watch movies then I’ll go to bed and hope tomorrow is different.

People tell me I should be over my grief by now. I should be handling it better. They’re right I probably should. I have tried counseling and can’t remember the tools. I did write them down somewhere. There are online websites that have them listed but they don’t seem to help. My sister thinks I like to be in misery and pain. I’m comfortable there. Maybe she’s right. Maybe I have no idea what I’m doing. I do know on a sunny day with the sun on my face I want to feel happy and today I didn’t. That has to change or what’s the point? So some phone calls have to be made, I don’t want to make them but I have no choice anymore. When my dad looks at me with tears of his own and tells me he can’t take much more I know I’m in trouble. He is my only support. I lose him I have nothing. It’s up to me now. Even if it takes ECT again I am that desperate.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony 2015

I use music to help me deal with Depression, Anxiety, Alcoholism, and everyday life. It has been a huge part of my life since I was born. These Ceremonies don’t mean much to some people and that’s fine. I find it disrespectful to the people already inducted. It’s like saying “it doesn’t matter you got inducted because it’s all a joke”. THAT is what I find disrespectful. Should they change the way people are picked to be inducted? Absolutely.

Without Joan Jett we wouldn’t have the female rockers that we’ve had through the years. And even that hasn’t been many. I don’t know that many women that can pull off rock like she can. She can do it all without giving up her sexuality or selling it. Her voice is still incredible.

The problem was having Miley Cyrus on stage with her trying to outsing everyone on the stage. Sticking her tongue out and at one point having a breast fall out with a pastie on it. Miley then proceeds to tell a story about Joan Jett and it is at this point I change the channel. She’s lucky I was no where near the venue or her vicinity it was that bad.

Step 1- Take the gum out of your mouth when publicly speaking.

Step 2- When honoring someone at an event speak about their accomplishments.

Step 3- Keep your tongue in your mouth it’s in there for a reason and none of us want to see it.

Step 4- You can tell a joke or two but unless you’re Lemmy from Motorhead keep it normal and clean.

Step 5- Keep Dave Grohl with you at all times.

These are my suggestions for a successful speech! Good luck next time.

I Think I’m Doing Bipolar Wrong

I came across some articles recently. I didn’t like them one bit. In fact I loathed them. They made Bipolar Disorder sound as if it was like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. All I had to do was click my heels together and I would be fine. More than fine in fact. As long as I learned the advantages of my Bipolar symptoms and understood them to a point where I could turn them on and off at will BECAUSE I understood them so deeply. But this does take effort! Each week you will have to focus on different subjects and coping tools. Tufts is doing this program or trying to now. It is based on Wooton’s Bipolar IN Order Theory. You embrace being Bipolar and the many gifts it has given you.

Let me stop now before I make myself sick. I apologize for only seeing Bipolar Disorder as a taker not a giver. Am I creative in some ways? Yes. Does it make up for the 265 days out of the year that I spend in a depression? No. It doesn’t make up for lost friends and family who find it exhausting to be around me either. Am I more observant? Yes. This leads to problems also. I am one of the the lucky few to have dual diagnoses. Making it harder to understand and treat me.

Would you feel blessed if you woke up with tears on your face and didn’t even know why? Almost every morning. And when you feel like a burden to everyone around you, is that a gift? I can’t control my stutter or my hands shaking but I am supposed to be able to learn to control Bipolar symptoms? I rarely know what day of the week it is. My memory is selective. It selects random images of things I don’t want to see or know anymore. I keep a dictionary and notebook next to me at all times. This is a great gift for my father who asks me to look up words for him.

So no I do not see Bipolar as a gift. Unless you put it in the same category as herpes, the gift that keeps on giving. I was functioning at one time, I had 2 jobs worked 70 hours a week and still had a social life. I was also drinking myself to death to maintain that normalcy. I know for a fact that I can’t follow this program. If this makes me weak so be it. I know my limitations and what will set me back. I cannot control my “symptoms”. If I could I would be out of this hole. I see no beauty in depression only darkness. Maybe my version of Bipolar comes with brutal honesty and not beautiful darkness.

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