Monthly Archives: October 2013
I didn't run away because I thought it would be exciting, I ran away because I couldn't stomach what I was running away from. My life. I'm sitting in a hotel room, wondering what on earth I should do next. I've spent the day sleeping and reading. I could be doing the same at home but somehow it feels different here. It's so quiet and so peaceful. I don't know what I've been thinking about...nothing and everything. I couldn't tell you what the book I've been reading is all about. I feel like I'm in a completely different world. I keep telling myself it's doing me some good. I don't really know. I do feel guilty that I've ignored people's texts and phone calls but I really don't want to go through trying to explain something that I don't understand myself. I'm staying another night. After that they are fully booked. I don't know what I'll do then. I can't say I'm really enjoying the experience. I'd imagined it would be somehow liberating just getting in the car and taking off. It's not . I have my phone and my iPad so I keep dipping into what everyone else is doing. I've been looking on Facebook and Twitter . Life just goes on wether I'm in it or not. I suddenly feel really insignificant. I did speak to my best friends son. He means the world to me and out of everybody it somehow seemed ok to call him. It was comforting to hear his voice but I honestly can't remember what he said apart from that I am a strong woman. I have spent so much time lately trying to be strong. I don't feel strong right now. I feel like my strength has been drained out of me. I just seem to go from one drama to another and I really have had enough. I have no idea what I'm going to do. I still can't face the thought of going home. I'm starting to feel scared. I feel like I've got myself into a situation that I don't know how to get out of. I really could use a wish right now.
For once, I’m not talking about coping with mental illness. Nope, this time it’s rhinitis—painfully irritated sinuses and ear congestion—which …
I don't know how to explain how I feel right now. I'm not depressed but I'm deeply unhappy. I'm unhappy with myself. Unhappy with how I look, with what I'm doing, with my life in general. I can't think of one thing in my life that really excites me or makes me really happy and I can't think of one thing that would change that. I don't know what I want.
Sometimes I frighten myself with the thoughts that go through my mind. I'm having some really weird thoughts lately. At least I know they're weird so I guess that's one good thing. I can't have completely lost my mind.
As I take so many tablets I always put them in one of those plastic things with each day of the week on. I never remember to take them otherwise . This morning as I was filling it up I had the urge to just swallow the whole lot at once. Somehow I imagined death would be a better option than the bullshit that's my life at the moment. Obviously I didn't do it. I don't know what stopped me.
Sometimes when I'm driving I have the urge to just take my hands off the steering wheel and crash into whatever is in front. Obviously I wouldn't do it.
I don't know why thoughts like that are so often and so vivid.
I feel so unsettled. I feel like I need to just up and leave. Fuck knows where I would go and fuck knows why I think running away would make any difference. I just feel compelled to pack my bags and go. Something is making me want to go. The feeling is so strong. I feel like I'm being suffocated here. Sometimes when I think about it I actually end up gasping for breath.
So I did pack my bag and go. I'm now sitting in a hotel room. I've got no idea where I am. Last night I drove round and round for nearly five hours. I wouldn't mind but I kept ending up back in the same place. See, I can't even run away properly. By rights I should have been in Scotland by now. Instead I think I'm somewhere near Gt Yarmouth . I stopped at a few places to stay but everywhere was full up. I finally managed to find somewhere and that's where I am now. It's nice. I slept so soundly, better than I have done for ages. Probably because I'd worn myself out. Now I don't really know what to do. All I know is that I'm not ready to go home.
I’m tired. Tired of doctors offices, blood tests, psychiatrist visits, being poked and prodded. No real progress made as far as my migraines go, but at least I got this unsettling photo out of the neurologist visit:
I just want to feel better already. Only two months into my bipolar diagnosis and I’m already so tired of taking medications to just feel neutral. Sometimes I feel this is karma delivering unto me for all the rotten things I’ve done, the nasty thoughts I’ve had and it doesn’t add up. I don’t think I’ve ever been this awful. So we roll back to science and medicine and attribute it to biological defects within my brain, a nice clean answer.
Karma, biology, the weather, whatever it is, I wish I could get a break here. Hopefully back to a more positive mindset soon.
“Telling someone who is manic that she’s manic is like telling a dictator that he’s a dick. Neither is going to admit it, and both are willing to torture you to prove their points.”
– Melody Moezzi, Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life
Okay, so I’ve been circling around saying something for a couple of weeks now. It’s nothing bad in the scheme of things; it’s actually quite good. But because of reasons that are no longer relevant, I was keeping mum about my pregnancy. Yup, #2 is a-cookin’, due mid June, etc. I’m nearly eight weeks in, which means… well, a lot more to go.
Now, it’s pained me to not speak of it here, because while I am quite pleased that we took so quickly (first month of trying with the first one, second month of second attempt of trying for this one), I’ve got a lot more worries on my head this time. For instance, I didn’t find out about my bipolar until after Lilbit was born. Which means that since then, I’ve started putting drugs in my system that aren’t exactly ideal for little fetal invaders — that definitely keeps me panicking until my dating scan in December! Besides the reassurance that the kiddo is healthy and not some sort of multi-limbed mutant, I also need the peace of mind that comes from making very very sure it’s only one baby. I know people think the idea of twins is adorable, but we absolutely can’t handle that. My support network is aged — my in-laws are retirement age, and my beloved husband is nearly 40 and quite creaky.
And of course, there’s the whole meds situation. See, I want a home birth again. I don’t pick this option because of relative crunchiness — I pick this option because hospitals stress me out to the point I can count on having a nervous breakdown in under an hour from being over-stimulated. But to be able to have that choice, I will have to come off of one or both of my meds to assuage both my psychiatrist and my midwife. I do have a relative plan of action in mind — if I come off the Seroquel in the last 3 or 4 months of pregnancy, that should hopefully avoid the worst of the potential complications. I’m emphatically not breastfeeding this time, so that issue is not a consideration. As for the Zoloft? It’s my understanding that it’s considered to be generally safe during pregnancy, so I will try to, at the very least, stay on that. Having said that, I might opt to completely come off if my psychiatrist is on board. My mood was very stable last pregnancy, and while I know that every pregnancy is different, I’m willing to take the risk if my mood looks to be holding stable. I’m already surviving bad sleep and terrible insomnia, so maybe!
So we’ll see. My first appointment with my midwife is at the top of the hour, and I see my psychiatrist in two and a half weeks. I’m choosing to be optimistic that we’ll be able to strike the right balance between my psychiatric care and my healthy carrying and delivery of Microbutt (as I’m calling the fetal invader currently). I’m probably going to be a wreck until after the scan though, which… I reckon that’s reasonable. There’s a lot more to be considered this time around!
I’ve been fighting off another bout of depression. This time around it’s more situational than chemical. In a nutshell, I am letting the past drag me down. Like, more than usual.
Yesterday would have been the 15th wedding anniversary for my first husband and I. While he and I have both moved on and married other people, October 28 always causes me to pause in reflection, in regret, in wonder of what might have been. As I have mentioned so many times before (I know I sound like a broken record by now) I left him and our two young daughters after eight years of marriage. It was during a manic episode and I did a lot of things I am ashamed of. I will never get that time with my kids back. I will never be able to rewind and rewrite the story. But it’s hard not to think about how different life would have been, for all of us, if I had not had that awful breakdown. When I think about how much I hurt him, how much I hurt our daughters, it rips me apart inside. And believe me when I say I think about it, literally, every day. And then sometimes I get bitter. After all, he listened to my pleas and got me released from the hospital. He filed for divorce. He helped me move out. Maybe he didn’t want to be with me anymore after all. But I pressured him into all those decisions, so I still take full responsibility for it. Meanwhile, he was the one who comforted our girls each night as they cried for a Mom that wasn’t coming back. Oh how much I hate myself for that, and I hate the illness that made me so blind to it at the time. It’s like something switched off inside me and I didn’t feel love or concern for anyone. I didn’t listen to my husband, my children, or my parents as they told me I was making a terrible decision to leave. How could I not see that then???
I spent a few years wishing to God I could go back in time and do the right thing. Maybe if I had just stayed in the hospital a little longer, I would have been alright. Maybe if my husband had not filed for divorce, we would still be together. I have thought about these things so many times and run it through my head backwards and forwards, always searching for a way to set things straight and be done with it, all to no avail. The damage can never be repaired. Now I barely see my girls, even though we live down the street from each other. I am only allowed to see them every other weekend, sometimes more if I get lucky. I am thankful that they have a financially and emotionally stable life with their dad and stepmom, but I feel like I have been robbed. And yes, I deserve that. But it doesn’t make it hurt any less. I know I am fortunate in the fact that some people don’t get to see their children at all due to various circumstances, so I don’t take those weekends for granted!
I am in love with my fiance, and I know we are perfect for each other. We have an amazing son together. This throws a tailspin in my previous wish to go back and change my decisions. If that hadn’t happened, I would have never met Douglas and we would have never had this precious little boy. So I find myself in an even more complicated place: missing my daughters, but being grateful for my son. If I had the magical chance now, to choose one life or the other, how could I possibly choose? So I guess it’s good that I don’t have that option.
Sometimes I look back on old posts and think I’m very negative. Too negative. Am I really always that miserable? The answer is no. I am not. Oh, I get some fucked up days… many of them, actually, but I probably have more good than bad. At the very least it’s 50/50.
This blog is my outlet when I’m sad, have the blues, am very depressed or extremely manic. It’s not a conscious thing, it’s just that I find myself having more inspiration when I’m feeling shitty. I am now starting to realize that’s not fair. Don’t I owe it to my readers to show that things can, and do get better? Don’t I owe that to myself? I think I do, and, I think I should allow my writing to reflect that.
Don’t get me wrong. I am depressed. In fact, I’d say I’m always depressed. As I’ve said many times before, it’s always there and it always feels like it crawling under my skin doing everything it can to make my life miserable, even on my best days. So I smile, I laugh, I socialize on my best days to help mask the pain. On my worst days it is nearly impossible to do any of those things. I don’t shower, I keep the blinds shut and try to stay away from the world. Those days are excruciatingly painful, but I must accept them, and remember they don’t last.
I am going to try harder to write more when I’m on an upswing from now on. I think it’s something I need to do for myself and for my readers.
I’m upping my medication again. I’m hoping this helps to calm me down again. Or at least to settle down all the annoyance and depression that is swirling in my mind. So I’m slowly pushing my dosage of bipolar medication upward again. At least my OCD meds are remaining stable on dosage for right now though. That’s something to look forward to. I don’t have to worry at the moment about trying to juggle changing dosages on multiple medications.
…in which we continue our woeful tale of The War of the Bed Bugs.
The Big Shot Professional exterminator made off with my infested camping cot and 200 shekels (approximately 65 US Dollars), leaving me with a completely empty apartment…or was it? I strongly suspected that in folding up said cot, he had dumped some unwanted guests onto the quarry stone floor. There were deep gaps between the quarries, which could harbor anything.
So I got out the bleach. In Israel we don’t have wimpy 1% sodium hypochlorite bleach like we do in America. We have 5%, which burns through rubber gloves, shreds clothing, and makes your eyes water as soon as you open the bottle.
I dumped enough into a bucket of water to kill anything, or so I thought, and swilled it around the stone floor, letting it fill the cracks between the stones. Then I turned on the fan and got out of there.
After a severe coughing spell that threatened to activate my stress incontinence, I ambled over to my favorite coffee den in the Shuk to think things over and decide what my best course of action was. Actually, my choices were few and none. I couldn’t go back to Ron’s, seeing that he was also infested; and I really couldn’t visit myself on any of my other friends because of the risk of contagion: the little beasts conveniently travel in the seams of your clothes, the soles of your shoes–not to mention your luggage. Damn, I was stuck.
I hit upon one good idea: the apartment came with a flat tarred roof that extended over three buildings. I had access to it via an Arab-built wooden ladder that my landlord, a contractor, had doubtless saved from one of his many construction projects. In Israel, the construction industry is almost exclusively run by Arabs. Instead of scaffolding they often use purpose-built ladders, which are abandoned, in many instances, after they are no longer needed. They are sturdily built, reminding me of the ladders that the Pueblo Indians use for getting up and down the levels of their dwellings. Mine was perfect for getting up to the roof.
There are two things that reliably kill bed bugs: dry heat above 145 degrees Fahrenheit, and prolonged freezing temperatures. So after my coffee I went next door to the variety store and bought a bunch of black plastic bags, the better to cook bugs in. I went home and loaded my clothes and anything else that could take high heat into these bags and hauled them up to the roof. Also my luggage and my dog’s doggie travel carrier. I must have made 25 trips up and down that damn ladder. Let’s not forget that I was still suffering from the concussion I got from taking one on the chin, and it was becoming apparent that I had “done something” to my right shoulder in the same wreck, so I had to be extra careful on my excursions up and down the ladder.
Did I mention that the ambient temperatures were hovering around 40 Centigrade/104 Fahrenheit? Well, they were. Good for killing bedbugs, bad for people on Lithium. I was feeling it.
Finally everything I owned was either on the roof baking or in the freezer freezing. I wondered if my external hard drive would survive freezing, but since it certainly would not live through broiling I thought the freezer was the better risk.
As I stood there wheezing in the bleach fumes, it occurred to me that I no longer had a bed. My Israeli mattress, a 3 inch thick strip of hard foam, was on the roof baking. The Professional Expert Exterminator had pronounced that to be unnecessary, but I was taking no chances.
Under normal circumstances, I would have simply tossed the mattress on the floor until I could get some semblance of a bedstead; but Jerusalem quarry stones are not only very hard, but uneven and pointy in many places. Not only that, but the proximity to my bleach job might melt the foam, and kill me via asphyxiation.
Then came one of those “lightbulb moments.” Indeed, I did have a bedstead!
Three years ago, I was forced by family circumstances to give up my long-term lease on a beautiful house in the same neighborhood. A very sweet couple moved in, and I had left them my bed; but they had their own, and they were storing mine–for when I returned to Jerusalem for good.
I called them, and within the hour had my old bed back. Tears of gratitude welled in my eyes–or was it just from the bleach?
Nightfall, and I hauled myself back up the ladder for the last time that day, to fetch my mattress down. Something nagged at me, paranoia perhaps, that I should run down to Davidka Square and buy myself a brand new mattress wrapped in plastic, but then again I had had the cover off of this one and inspected all the seams for signs of bed bug poo, and eggs, and all of the signs and symptoms of infestation, and found none. I told myself firmly to have confidence in my own expertise, and plunked the mattress on my good old bedstead.
This wasn’t just any bedstead. I had bought it in 1989, just after my ex-husband moved out and took every stick of furniture in the apartment with him (he was moving into an unfurnished apartment, you see), including the bed. So I invested in this wonderfully simple bedstead made of hardwood slats, that came apart and went together in a few minutes’ time, perfect for the young upwardly mobile professional lifestyle.
The first night was blissfully bugless. I awoke, anxious, and checked myself over for new bites; and finding none, rejoiced. Even my dog was scratching less. She is allergic to everything, and, as I found out later, bed bugs feed on anything with blood in it, including warm-blooded animals. I took her food out of the freezer, and took myself out for Israeli Breakfast to celebrate. If you haven’t had Israeli Breakfast, you haven’t had breakfast. I will tell you all about Israeli Breakfast another time.
It is with great sadness that I must inform you that the third morning dawned with a peppering of itchy welts. I freaked out.
I called Sammy.
Sammy showed up the next morning with a backpack sprayer and a respirator mask. Now, I thought with satisfaction, we’ll get something done about this. I stood guard over his van, which he had left in a tow-away zone, while he did his thing. He came running out of the apartment followed by a noxious white cloud, coughing through his mask. Jesus, I thought, what the hell did he spray in there? I didn’t care, as long as it killed the damn bugs.
I was told to abandon the place for three hours, and then wash the floors very well. VERY well, he said, looking significantly at Noga, my dog. Sammy raises champion Pekingese, and knows what dogs can handle and what they can’t.
I left the apartment to air out for eight hours instead of three, just for good measure; then I went after the floors with a vengeance. I washed them VERY well. But I did NOT wash the bedstead. I wanted anything lurking in there to be DEAD. And so it was that as I was inspecting the bed, a very sick bed bug tottered out of one of the joints of the headboard. It looked like its shell was melting. Ugh, and GOOD. Death to you! Death! And then another one, fat with my blood, dragged itself out from beneath one of the legs. Oh. My. God. Even now the hair stands up on the back of my neck to think of….what it…..had certainly done….
To be continued……