Monthly Archives: December 2017

ROCK BOTTOM

I had many “rock bottoms” but they never really stopped me from drinking for too long. Only one thing eventually stopped me. Learning the reason why I was drinking.

It took too many years to figure it out but when I did it made everything clearer for me.

Drinking took away that empty ache I always had. It took away the anxiety I felt 24 hours a day. Yes, I know alcohol causes more anxiety as the alcohol leaves your system, but it was so bad I didn’t care. I just needed some time without it. Feeling like you’re on a roller coaster all the time is exhausting. Without alcohol I couldn’t go anywhere or do anything. I never would’ve left my bedroom. Some would say that would’ve been a good thing. But they were not inside my head. If you have General Anxiety and Social Anxiety, which used to be called “Social Phobia” than you understand.

Alcohol took as much as it gave. It took my money, friends, family, health, dignity, and what little self-esteem I had.

I tried to stop drinking many times over 20 plus years. Some of these times were court ordered and some I decided on my own. I attended AA for two years and disliked it immensely. I also went to an outpatient rehab 3 times a week for a year. That wasn’t bad but I still went back to drinking. The reason? I never asked myself why and neither did anyone else. Self-medicating was never brought up anywhere I went. Not at any of the Psychiatrists, Therapists, AA meetings, or rehab.

It wasn’t until I was 36 that a Doctor asked why? I answered honestly. So I wouldn’t feel anything that I was feeling. He dug deeper. He asked about my family history and if anyone had addiction issues or mental health problems. When I told him my family history I thought his eyes were going to pop out of his head. I didn’t understand why.

He said “No one has ever diagnosed you with a mental illness?” I told him one Psychiatrist diagnosed me with “Social Phobia”. He asked if she had given me medication for it. I told him she prescribed me Paxil then Prozac. At this point he was shaking his “NO” so hard I was worried.

We talked more and he made an appointment for me to come back the following week when he had my test results.

I was diagnosed as Bipolar with Social Anxiety. The Conversion Disorder came a little later. My hands shook but I didn’t think to tell him. I thought it was caffeine. It wasn’t until food started falling off every utensil that I knew it was something else. When I started to stutter and my head started to shake a little I was terrified. My Doctor had an idea what it was but sent me to a specialist to be sure.

I stopped drinking the day I was diagnosed. It’s been about 9 and half years. I do not know the exact date and time because I forget a lot of things. I’ve forgotten more since I had a round of ECT (Shock Therapy) that didn’t go as planned. Also I didn’t plan on dying for a few seconds or being under anesthesia for so long or so many times. But that’s what happens when you go into Kidney Failure and don’t know it.

I also don’t believe that if you “fall off the wagon” one time  that should you should go back to zero. I know too many people who had years of sobriety slip up once and because of the shame kept drinking. I believe if the stigma and shame were taken away this wouldn’t happen. I’m living proof.

Five years ago I drank one night. One night. Since then I have not had another drink. I was honest with my family about it and they understood but were not happy. They didn’t shun me or make me start over either.

I recently read a Tweet where someone had a drunk dream and their biggest worry was that they would’ve wasted their 5 years of sobriety. It shouldn’t be like that. What if you’r at a wedding and accidentally grab the wrong soda and it has rum in it? Do you start over? I know it’s different because it isn’t intentional but it was the first concert I had ever been to sober, I was alone, in another state, I was manic and I had just died a few weeks before. When I showed up alone I felt like everyone was looking at me (not in a good way because why would they do that?) Then when I realized it was in a good way I didn’t know how to react. I had always been over 200 pounds at concerts and now I was 125 (because I was sick) so I panicked.

The next morning I booked a flight home and talked to my family. It’s been 4 and half years since then. So 9 and half years. If you don’t like it you don’t have to do it.086a8d692cb6d849fed48f86d0d04959


WATCHING PEOPLE GET BETTER

I feel like I’m stuck at “Hate Me” while others have been able to move on to “Fear” and make progress.

I’m still on that same floor I was on at 19, 21, 24, 27, 30, 33, 34, 36 years old begging for someone to make it all stop.

I stayed a little girl. There’s no emotional growth when you’re drinking at 16 to hide from something that scares you but you have NO IDEA what it is or how to explain it. It’s hard enough being a teenager who isn’t considered popular, pretty, or smart. What you become is target practice.

You were born into a family of “large boned” people or in some cases “morbidly obese”. There were a few stunning women and men but they were not without problems. If you do not believe Mental Illness or Addiction is hereditary I personally invite you to study my family.

I don’t remember what it feels like not to be anxious 24 hours a day. I didn’t stop bouncing my legs or shaking a foot while sitting until recently. I still do it just not as much.

When you start your life afraid of everything it’s paralyzing. My poor parents didn’t know what to do.

As I watched them argue with one another, knowing it was my fault, I tried my best to make them hate me and give up on me. My Mom understood more than my Dad because she had been hospitalized for Depression and 3 of siblings are mentally ill. Two of them are Paranoid Schizophrenics, so she was scared and didn’t want to lose me.

There came a point where I pushed her too far and it was my Dad who stopped her from kicking me out of the house and giving up. At that point I had no feelings, no self respect or dignity left. I felt like I would never be good enough and I didn’t deserve anything good in my life. I sabotaged myself.

As my drinking became worse so did my behavior. I didn’t care who I slept with and would start fights over the smallest things. Years of saying and doing nothing while being spit on and having elephant noises made at me had taken a toll. It started to boil and come spewing out at everyone.

The older alcoholic men I drank with took bets on how much longer I’d be alive. I came close more times than I like to remember.

When I watch someone like Justin Furstenfeld who I could relate to on many levels, change his entire life, behaviors, and outlook, it makes me feel frustrated and confused.

Am I afraid to be happy? Am I not trying hard enough? Do I have to believe in God? Are medications the wrong answer?

I want to leave the house, I want to do things, I want to be happy and at peace.

I don’t know how people do it. My brain keeps screaming NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!!

And then of course I get bitchy because Mr. Furstenfeld has mentioned “God” and “Heaven” many times when it comes to his happiness. I have such a hard time with religion. I also suspect he might not be taking medications anymore. He doesn’t talk as much about his mental health as he does his addiction.

There is a documentary coming out where he mentions having “Extreme highs and lows” and being in a mental health facility. He was put on medication at the age of 14. I believe he’s Bipolar but I’m not sure it was confirmed and that’s his personal business. EXCEPT when you do Public Service Announcements about Depression and Suicide and you’re not being honest. If you have fans that are mentally ill and they think they can just pray away their illness we have a problem. I’m probably exaggerating.

I’m down lately and yesterday my Dad tried to hit me. Not what you want to do to someone who is now afraid of aggressive men even if it is my Dad. It didn’t go well at all.

Instead of crying and shaking something else took over.

RAGE

All I could think was “I’ll be damned if I ever let anyone physically hurt me again.” I calmly said “If you come near me I will leave for good. You will never see me again and I won’t tell you where I am.” It must have been the way I said it because he stopped and left the room.

When I mentioned it to him later in the day he denied ever doing such a thing. He then called me a liar and said I was making it up. I think I’m going to get Nanny cams to prove to him how angry and violent he’s been the last year.


DAVE NAVARRO’S JEWELRY LEADS TO FANFICTION & NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS

After watching a video of Dave Navarro on YouTube recently I was curious about the necklace he was wearing. I found the information once then couldn’t find it again. What I did find was an odd piece of FanFiction written about him. At least I hope it was Fiction.

The story was about an Ink Master contestant who starts dating Mr. Navarro while filming. They fall in love, the romance is detailed from her point of view and supposedly his. She also becomes pregnant with twins. It was over romanticized and I have to say I felt uncomfortable reading it. The kind of uncomfortable where you know something is wrong in the pit of your stomach but you’re not sure what it is.

If it was Fiction or not if I was Dave Navarro I would’ve been uncomfortable reading it and wouldn’t want it out there for everyone to read. The way it’s written does make you question if it’s real or not. I’m pretty sure it isn’t real but like I said uncomfortable.

Anyway Mr. Navarro has inspired me to start making jewelry again but in a different direction. I want to try some new things and work with different gemstones and techniques.

This brings me to my New Year’s resolutions. I don’t know what the new year will bring for me health wise. Right now I’m not doing so great. Having 1 kidney is a bitch. Having various mental health issues isn’t fun either.

I want to try to be positive for a change. I know I’m not a positive person. I also know that I need to find a way to deal with my grief and anger. I’ve lived with both for far too long and it’s consuming me. Fear is also a big challenge. It’s going to be hard and I’m not sure if I can do it but I refuse to die alone in this house.

I want to have a jewelry booth this year. There are always a ton of Art Fairs where I live or other venues for people to showcase what they have made. I say I’m going to do this every year and I chicken out every year. This year I’m going to make myself do it. I hope.

I also need to repair my relationship with my twin sister. I don’t care what I have to do she’s my twin. She is right about many things. She’s also wrong about many things and I’ll have to get over that.

I’d like to get a passport this year just in case I can travel. I would like to see my Auntie Lee one more time in Florida too. She’s getting older and I’m getting sicker so I feel the need to see her.

I have to take better care of Dutchie. He’s gained weight and he panics too much when you try to touch his feet. I need spend more time training him.

I really want to volunteer at an animal shelter. I’d love to help out with exotics and wildlife because I know a lot about them but I’ll go where I’m needed most or where they will take me. Some places are very picky and do background checks even to volunteer.

I’m not a fan of background checks. I’m not a hardened criminal but my record isn’t clean either. I was told the incidences on there would be expunged but they were not. So there’s a DUI that shows up that I was never charged with, a drunk and disorderly, and a domestic dispute with a drunk and disorderly and resisting arrest. These were all from my twenties I’ll be 45 in January. Do restraining orders show up? Because that’s there from my twenties it goes with the domestic. I’m not making excuses I’m explaining that after a man beat me unconscious I went back a year later and took out his windshield, windows and headlights with a hard object. He pressed charges and got the restraining order even though he admitted to “beating me like Mike Tyson” to a room full of people and laughing about it.

Sorry, I got off track. It does tie into the anger and fear. I’m also unable to be around men very much without feeling immense fear. It’s worse if they have deep voices or seem aggressive. Then I start to shake and stutter. One of the many reasons I stay home.

So things have to change. This is the year to do it. I’m not getting any younger or healthier. It’s time to get out there.


OVERTHINKING CHRISTMAS

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When I was little I enjoyed Christmas I think. There were only a few occasions where I received gifts where I was excited or surprised that the person actually knew me enough to know what I would enjoy.

What’s odd is that these gifts came from my brother. The only thing is he kind of ruined his gifts by including himself.

One year it was tickets to see John Mellencamp. I was probably 15 at the time. It would’ve been one of best shows ever if my brother hadn’t been drunk and trying to take other people’s seats the entire time. I spent most of my time worrying about him getting thrown out.

Another gift was a limo for the night, tickets to see Blue Man Group, reservations and an all paid for meal at a 5 star Restaurant in Boston and a Dual Piano Bar. Again all of this would’ve been wonderful if my brother wasn’t part of the deal. If he didn’t smoke in the limo, get drunk at the restaurant, and start a fight at the Piano Bar.

I enjoy giving gifts more than receiving them. I love seeing someone’s face light up. I remember when my Dad bought my Mom the first diamonds she ever owned. He wrapped them up so she had to open 7 different boxes to get to them but the look on her face had me crying for an hour. She was so shocked that he did it on his own. He did it because he loved her. It was outside his comfort zone and I can’t picture him going to a Jewelers by himself but he did. It was worth it to see her face.

Every year at Blockbuster we had Secret Santa with the Managers, HR, and the owner. We had a minimum of $50 which is kind of high for most places and I usually went over it.

One Manager was huge wrestling fan. I mean he went to every event and did some photography for them. He went to conventions all over the U.S. too. I got his name one year. What no one knew is that I was a wrestling fan, my brother was also. I had several autographed pictures of wrestlers in the Hall of Fame, Chief Jay Strongbow, Gorilla Monsoon, and Pedro Morales. I put them in nice frames and also got him his favorite candy and Gift Certificate for his wife’s favorite restaurant. When he opened it he said “Hey, thanks”.

I got the owner and knew a lot about her already but worked with one of her kids so I did some more research. She loved this one jewelry designer from Newport. I got her a charm necklace from the designer with a charms from her life. One charm was a beautiful palm tree with a stone it and the other a tennis racket. Both gold. Then they had a matching bracelet that I got with charms to represent the kids. I also made her Peanut Butter Balls Gluten Free because she also has Celiac. Her response was “Thanks”.

I gave my sister a necklace one year that had two Ds entwined (both our first names begin with D) there was also a garnet in it. I had the back engraved with a personal note. It was Platinum, her favorite. She responded like everyone else and never wore it. Never talked about it. It wasn’t the cost. It was the fact that I took time, thought and love to do that and it didn’t matter. I know she has no idea where it is.

SOME GOOD NEWS

My Dad has talked about wanting to read John McCain’s family memoirs “Faith of My Father’s” for years. With Mr. McCain’s health in the news lately I decided to order the book for my Dad. I even had it gift wrapped. It came yesterday in a gorgeous forest green gauze gift bag. My Dad looked so confused. He had no idea what it was. I left the room while he opened it. I heard him while he opened it. “I’ll be Goddamned!” then I heard his voice break. I started to cry in the kitchen because I did it, I gave him something that mattered. He came and hugged me for the longest time and I was happy in that moment.


ELVIS AND ME

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Every Saturday morning as a child I watched Elvis movies. My Mom loved Elvis. She played his music often. My mom didn’t hold anything back from us. She told me that my sister and I were conceived to an Elvis song. I’ll spare you the rest of story like I wish she had spared me! That’s how she was. Honest about everything and usually laughing.

I know the words to almost all of Elvis’s songs but I have a hard time listening to them since my mom passed away. It will be 10 years in February. It’s the one date I don’t forget. I can’t remember my sober date or when I was diagnosed Bipolar and everything else but I remember the day she died.

I wish I could’ve told her about the time W and I met an Elvis impersonator at the Casino. He was so handsome, better looking than the original Elvis. We were there to see Motley Crue but somehow ended up at the Clamshack drinking beer, eating fries and clam chowder.

When I spotted him I thought he was Nikki Sixx for a second. He had jet black hair and the bluest eyes. His manager was with him. He sat down next to us and ordered chowder. We didn’t oyster crackers but he did and they were gigantic for some reason. Of course me being drunk I commented on his overly large crackers and he laughed. We spent the next 5 hours hanging out with Elvis.

Turns out he had just come from the dressing rooms and had met Nikki Sixx, he was also a fan. We had already seen them in concert several times so we didn’t mind missing out to hear Elvis’s stories.

My mom would’ve loved it. She would’ve hated that I was drunk but I would’ve left that part out. It was a rare night where W and I just laughed and had fun. No one got hurt, no one cried, no one was arrested. When I say “No one” I mean me.

I miss my mom and I miss the times with W that were fun. But I guess we were supposed to grow up. One of us did. The other never had the tools to do so. She still doesn’t.


BRUTALLY HONEST (How I Feel Right Now)

When someone confirms what you’ve been thinking for years it isn’t a relief.

I’ve known for some time that certain people have been avoiding me over the last few years. My sister did me a favor by confirming this. She admitted that she herself avoids me. She said my behavior has gotten out of control. She doesn’t want to hear any “excuses”.

Everyone forgets I went into Kidney Failure two years ago, was resuscitated and spent a week in the hospital. I left there minus a kidney and having one kidney working at 70%. That number has gone down recently. No one wants to listen how this changes the way my medications work or how every chemical and hormone in my body has also changed. This is partly why I’ve been getting worse.

Over the last month I feel like I don’t want to be here. The aching hole in my chest is constant and all I want to do is sleep so I don’t feel it. The ache is a combo of sadness, grief, loneliness, feeling useless or like everything I do is wrong. I also feel like I have the plague. I know I can be annoying. I get excited around bright lights and shiny objects. I talk too much when I’m around people I like because I want them to like me. I beg my own family to talk to me. They don’t.

I don’t want to be here anymore. My nose is constantly swollen from crying so much I can’t breathe. I have headaches from crying. Part of me wants to stop my meds, take off to Vegas and drink until my kidney shuts down. I had to put my fist in my mouth while watching Leaving Las Vegas in the theater. When he couldn’t sign his name because he was shaking so bad reminded me of me.

The bartenders at a bar I went to after work knew not to give me a bottle of beer. They would have a mug waiting for me with a straw in it pushed forward so I could just bend my head down to drink. They knew my hands shook too much to hold anything until I got a few drinks in me. So much of that movie hit too close to home.

I’m lost. I’m told to leave the house and join a group. I wish it was that easy. The thought of leaving the house now cause a lump in my throat and a sick feeling in my stomach. So I talk myself out of it. Even my dog isn’t listening to me. In fairness I did cut his nails against his will. lol


IS ALL ADDICTION RELATED TO CHILDHOOD TRAUMA?

Dr. Gabor Mate believes all addiction is related to childhood trauma. I find this disturbing but not surprising.

During the 20 plus years I spent drinking I was court ordered to see a Psychiatrist or Therapist several times. Each one asked if there had been any abuse in my childhood. Even when I insisted there hadn’t been they still kept asking. None of them asked any other questions.

Some questions that would’ve been helpful for them would be “Does anyone in your family have a mental illness?”, “Does anyone in your family have a problem with alcohol?”, “Does anyone in your family have issues with anxiety?”. These would’ve been good questions to ask.

My Grandfather on my father’s side loved animals but had no friends. He had trouble talking to people. He also had ulcers that would eventually lead to his death at an early age when they began bleed. He was afraid to go to the Hospital so when he finally did it was too late.

My Father loves animals and has never had any friends. He also found it difficult to talk to people or be in social situations. When he was 17 he joined the Navy and found that alcohol helped him fit in. He continued to drink after leaving the Navy and didn’t stop until I was around 7 years old. My Mother ordered for him in restaurants, made doctor appointments for him, and handled anything that might cause anxiety for him. No one ever spoke about it. He also has ulcers. I’ve seen dry heave so many times I’ve lost count. It’s always when he’s anxious. I’ve seen him swallow his own vomit because he refuses to show weakness in front of anyone.

I love animals and have only ever had one friend. I would dry heave every single day before school. Going to the mall or a crowded place was torture for me. I tried to hide behind my hair and always looked at the ground as I walked. I thought I would be laughed at or ridiculed. I was anyway because of my weight. This didn’t help so I stayed in my room a lot. At 16/17 I found that alcohol helped took away the butterflies in my stomach and I could talk to people. I went to concerts, met bands, hung out with a large group of people, got into fights, got arrested, laughed, cried, tried to commit suicide several times, was promiscuous, and ruined relationships with my family.

Alcohol took me on some great adventures but it also came close to killing me. I didn’t know I was Bipolar or that I had Social Anxiety Disorder (Phobia) I knew something was wrong but no one ever diagnosed me so I kept drinking.

My family has many alcoholics in it including my Mom and Dad. It also has Mental Illness that you can’t discount. It isn’t coincidence that my Mom, her Mother and 3 of her siblings have/had severe mental illnesses.

My parents loved me and did everything they could to make sure I was happy. Yes they saw signs early on that something wasn’t right but they were scared I would be taken away. It was the late 70’s early 80’s and not enough was known then. I don’t blame either one of them. If anything I’m alive right now because of them.68832fe107dfe5b52a7fff8651d19655


CAUSE I’M A LIAR

The cable bill has been huge for the last several months. I’m the one who pays it. They want us to update our modem or router for our phone. This would mean someone coming into the house and that’s not possible. It’s too much chaos for my oldest dog and for my Dad. I’ve talked to the cable company 6 different times and received different answers from each person. At the end of each call they all told me to talk to someone in the Loyalty Department. We’ve been with the company for 27 years.

I called the Loyalty Department today after speaking to yet another unhelpful person. I was frustrated and feeling like I was in a panic. I dislike making phone calls to begin with. I tried to explain as best as I could what was going on to the man in the Loyalty Department. I guess I was talking to fast because he said “M’am CALM DOWN. I can’t help you if you keep TALKING.” So I felt worse and began to stutter. He made a noise and began to laugh at me. I told him to forget it, I didn’t need help, and hung up crying.

I told my sister this and her response was “I’m sure he didn’t laugh at you. You probably just thought he did because you got yourself all worked up.”

I told my Dad and he said “He did not laugh at you.” and walked out of the room.

They have both personally witnessed someone laugh at, mimic, or make fun of me when I stutter. My Dad was in the Court Room when a Disability Judge did it and I had to restrain him from physically assaulting the Judge. But he doubts me now? My sister was in the Doctor’s office with me when a nurse did it. But she doubts me now? If these people who definitely know better would do it, why wouldn’t a customer service agent from a cable company?

They’re immune to how I feel or what I experience. I don’t blame them. They’ve had to put up with me for years.

But you know who has put up with the most and never doubts me? My best friend. I don’t talk to her often because she works 6 days a week but when I do it’s like no time has gone by.

I talk less and less each day. I have a feeling that’s okay with my family.5013a77dda1042859353823edf870c8c

 

 

 


GRIEF FOR A PARENT: When There’s So Much Love And Pain

My Mom was the one who held everyone together. Not just my Dad, my brother, my twin sister, and me, but also all of her siblings, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren. She made sure everyone kept in touch or visited one another.

When she died it collapsed like a house of cards. It was like my Dad and I didn’t exist anymore. The phone only rang with telemarketers and there were no visits.

My Mom was outgoing, talkative, loud, bossy, and you did what she told you to do. She also had periods where there was no laughing, no talking, and she stayed in bed for a week or so. She could be quick tempered also. Her capacity to love and forgive almost made up for those times. Almost.

It isn’t easy as a child to wake up and find your Mom gone. Your Dad doesn’t really know how to explain where she is except “She’s sick and she’ll be home soon.” The first two times I was scared and I wanted my Mom. When you’re that young and you know nothing about Mental Illness and no one else really does either it’s horrible.

My Dad had to work so my sister and I would have to stay at my Grandmother’s house. My Dad’s mother. She wasn’t a warm, affectionate woman which explains a lot about my Dad. I was at her house the first time I got my period. I had no idea what was going on. My Mom was in a Hospital, I was at a mean woman’s house, and I was bleeding to death. It kind of left some damage over the years. It’s a good thing my Dad is the man he is and I finally told him what was going on and he took care of me like a pro.

But in my head I thought my Mom should’ve been there. I loved her more than anything in this World. If I knew 100% what happens when we die, if we do go somewhere beautiful and see our loved ones again, I would go right now.

Her death was so bad I still have nightmares sometimes. The year before her death was tough on my Dad and me. There were times when I had to get up early for work but couldn’t sleep because I could hear her moaning. For a long time my Mom went to Doctors who never found anything wrong with her. It was like the boy who cried wolf. When years later the Doctors told her she had Lung Cancer I don’t think any of us reacted the way we were supposed to. Our sympathy had been used for years and years. It was hard living with someone who would scream your name from their bedroom like they were dying making you run upstairs to their room only to have them say “Can you change the channel on my TV?” There was something wrong with that.

In my head I would tell her to shut up. I have to live with that. What we didn’t know was that all the chemo and radiation had weakened her bones so much she had fractured 2 bones in her back. That’s why she was in so much pain.

The Doctors she had made everything worse for us. They had no clue what they were doing. We did get 7 more years with her but it came at a price.

My memory of her was changed forever.

I no longer see the smiling beautiful woman that was my Mom when I close my eyes.

I see the nightmare version I walked in to at the Hospital.

It kills me to remember her like that. I’ve only been to her grave once. I refuse to go. The rest of my family has made comments about this. I don’t care. I can’t do it. I won’t do it. No one is going to bully me anymore or make me feel guilty about things that were out of my control. I do that to myself enough.11059761_10207494279902008_1407885758767048615_n


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