Daily Archives: September 18, 2016

Football, Weather, Missed Meds, Etc.

I forgot my meds last night.

I haven’t done that in over a year, and the last time I did it I experienced the entire bipolar spectrum in one day. This time, I’m kinda numb around the lips and my head is buzzing, but other than feeling a bit on the hypomanic side I’m OK. I was wondering why the hell I wasn’t sleeping; usually I’m asleep by 1 AM, but it was probably 4 before I figured it out. Then it was too late to take them, so I dozed fitfully until I finally gave up around 9. Now in the middle of the day, I’m almost hyperalert and am perched on the edge of my seat on the big sectional. Not good.

Speaking of the sofa, that’s my favorite place to watch football. I’m currently watching Denver play Indianapolis and keeping track of my own two teams (Seattle and San Diego) via the Internet. I miss having Will beside me during the games; he was never as interested as I am, but he always enjoyed them…mainly because it was time spent together. My family, on the other hand. literally hates football and will scatter to their various bedrooms while I’m watching the Sunday game. So now it’s “laugh and the world laughs with you”; cheer for your favorite NFL team and you cheer alone.

Now it’s time to talk about the weather. I don’t know why, it’s just that I never think of talking about it except when it’s been raining for three weeks straight and my SAD kicks in. While it’s still technically summer until later this week, the weather has done a 180 and fall has definitely arrived. It was 85 degrees and sunny Friday, and yesterday it was 65 and raining. But although I’m sorry to see the last of the 80s and the soft warm breezes, the change of seasons means it’s that much closer to our trip in November. My boys seem to have this idea that the family needed to go on another cruise this year, and they won’t leave me behind so guess where I get to go this time? Belize. And Mahogany Bay (Isla Roatan, just off Honduras). And Cozumel (again). Where it’s summer all the time. I could get used to this…and I might as well, because next year we’re going on a cruise AND to Disney World.

In the meantime, the lack of appetite that occurred when Will passed continues, as does the weight loss. I’ve shed 28 lbs. in a little over two months and I’m not even trying, although I think it has a bit to do with the fact that I’ve developed something of an aversion to soda and am no longer eating bacon, sausage, butter, or sweets on a regular basis. Nice to know my metabolism still works, despite the fact that I also have an aversion to exercise.

Believe me, I’m grateful that I can once again go around a grocery store without my back killing me or me leaning over the cart because I’m winded just from walking. Anything more than that is just not in the cards right now because everything hurts, including the newest spot where my arthritis has settled (both shoulders). Who knows, maybe next spring I’ll be down another few pounds and can handle some gardening, which is the only form of physical activity I enjoy, other than swimming (and lovemaking, but that sure ain’t happening anymore).

Did I mention that I miss my husband? So much that I caught myself the other day searching through old voice mails on my phone just so I could hear his voice again. Thank God I saved them. Of course I cried like a baby, but it was so comforting in a way that I did it again and again until I’d wrung all the joy and pain out of the experience.

And life goes on.


Caught in a Manic Moment

I felt my smile today. My cheeks widened. My eyes sparkled. A confident giggle just emerged. A sarcastic, witty statement fell off my tongue. My body was loose. I chose “provocative” clothing for the evening. A skip in my step turned into a slight twist and sashay of hips. I wanted attention. Craved it.
My previous slow wonderment was a blistering set of somewhat inappropriate questions. Firing off w out my recollection. At first they were at home, a big enough space to house them all. But when we moved to the car, my husband felt like he was under attack. He gave me that look..care, concern and annoyance all rolled into one. With a loud sigh he said the three words that signal something might be awry: are you okay? The underlying tone of urgency. Of, why now. Of, now I have to stay alert, floated in one ear and out the other.
I fired inquiries as to why he was ruining my vibe. It’s a good day. Nope, it’s an awesome day. Here I am, finally, completely available to you and you can’t handle it? It’s my gift to you. In return I receive an urgent follow up set of words: are you moving fast? Fast! Schmast! My energy is fluid. Pulsing through my mind, body and spirit. I tilt my head and become a little flirty. Suggest if he is a good boy he just might get an out of this world invitation to bliss. These are not my words. But they are delivered in such a way all questions ceased. Like a dripping candle, I was sizzling his skin with my heat.
I strutted around in my cowboy boots and overly tight shirt. Certain every man in the restaurant and later the bar, took notice. I sipped on water as if it was the finest vodka made in all of the land. I was careful to touch my husbands face, long hair and hands. But only for a moment. A tease. I don’t remember feeling my body until he caressed me. I think I was floating above. Alternating between sensual presence and depersonalization. An awkward shift was taking place.
I motioned him to the dance floor. Stomping my boots to feel the ground was just what I needed. He draped his arms across my shoulders and was pressing into me from behind. Once again I could feel him. Our juices flowing. Our need for each other growing. A sharp, and I mean, sharp laser pierced my mind. A lightning bolt of desire infiltrated me. But, not just for my husband. My eyes darted around the room looking for another man. Wait a minute. Please stop this madness. This is most certainly not me, not my line of thinking.
I break free and dance w wild abandon. Maybe if another comes to me it’s not the same thing. No initiation on my part. Trouble is, we were watching a solo acoustic singer songwriter. My husbands hands held me still. Perhaps reminding me wrong place, wrong time. I couldn’t stop moving. He hugged me and asked if I needed some air. I needed to be set free! This fierce drive was nothing I’ve ever felt before. I was alive. Awake. Fuck wonderment. This was decadent curiosity. This was out of bounds and enticing. Modest caution out the window.
My wise husband misses no signs. This was not his self effacing red haired freckled faced shy wife standing next to him. He held me close, but didn’t smother me. At first I resisted. He whispered he loved me over and over. We made our way back to the car unscathed. My body electric. The moon and the stars, warm dog days of summer nights ignited my insides. Typically my particular cocktail of meds ushers me to bed around 9:30. I was up well past 2 am. Brilliance encapsulating me. The race of ideas with no context or goal ricocheted around the room. They skidded along my blank page but left only an indiscernible mess.
I reached into the cavernous black hole of my medication shelf and pulled out the bottle “for emergencies.” It wasn’t critical mass, but maybe on the cusp. This newfound me felt risky. Exhilarating. But still risky. I washed them down with some shame, guilt and unsung empowerment. It’s for the best I told myself.
Late morning here I sit. Trying to piece it all together. I missed the signs. I just thought, for the first time in a long time, I was out in the world. Being seen. Being heard. In my body. And I was, for all the wrong reasons. It wasn’t me embracing myself. I was succumbing, unknowingly, to symptoms. I think there might be a difference.

Owning My Bullying

bullying, written on vintage metal texture

I have written many times before this on the subject of bullying – and now I have to admit that I have been a bully too.

Bullying is often seen in stereotypical terms as a larger kid extorting money from a smaller, weaker one, or torturing someone in the locker room with “swirlies” and other indignities. But there are many kinds of bullying. There is physical bullying – the kind most people thing of. There is ostracism or social bullying – the stereotype of which is the clique of mean girls or arrogant jocks. There are racist bullying, ethnic bullying, socioeconomic bullying, ableist bullying, sexual bullying, and just about any other type you can name.

Nowadays, one of the most vicious types of bullying, with the most harmful and longest-lasting effects, is cyberbullying. The tools of connection are being used to separate, exclude, and destroy reputations and even lives.

None of those is the kind of bully I was.

I was an intellectual bully. And since I realized that – only recently – I am ashamed.

I am not ashamed of my intelligence or my educational accomplishments. Those were the products of nature and nurture that I had little control over. It was what I did with those advantages that is shameful.

I used my smarts and my vocabulary to squash other students.

It may have started as a defense against the bullying I received – physical and social and whatever else. Intelligence seemed like the only weapon I had, and I wielded it as one. I was taking revenge in the only way I knew how. And that is something I should never have done.

I may not have intended it that way, but every snarky remark, every intellectual put-down, every sesquipedalian word flung back at my bullies carried a message. I was telling them that they were stupid and inferior, and that I was smarter  – better – than they were.

If that’s not bullying, I don’t know what is. And I’m sure it caused damage to egos and self-esteem, as well as perpetuating the cycle of be-bullied-and-bully that leaves countless perpetrators and victims in its wake.

Later in life, as my bipolar disorder deepened, I turned the bullying inward. I made self-deprecating remarks, snarked at myself, even made fun of myself for being overeducated and pedantic. I thought I had to do these thing to myself before someone else did them to me. It was at once a measure of my profoundly low self-esteem and a way to lower it even further.

In essence, I was bullying myself. And I’ve known other people who have done likewise. (For what it’s worth, I’ve since learned that it can be profoundly irritating to listen to a person tear himself or herself down this way.)

Intellectual bullying is a hard habit to break. The words, the ideas, the sarcasm are there for the using. The consequence, of course, is driving people away, sometimes without even realizing it. I have done this and seen it only when looking back at the potential or actual friends lost, the coworkers who thought I was a jerk, the people I’ve hurt.

I’ve been trying to break myself of the habit. Oddly, the Internet helps. It is, as has been noted, true that there are few ways to convey tone of voice in chat or email. There is no sarcasm font. But there are ways to let the recipient know that you do not mean a message literally or unkindly. You can place <snerk> after a remark or a  :P emoji or a sticker that demonstrates you mean well. I’ve even seen people use <sarcasm on> and <sarcasm off> around their messages to make them clearer.

But mostly, I try to guard my speech. I have to install a little censor (or sensor) that says, “Ooh! That’s funny! But is it insulting?” before I make a remark.

I’d rather pause for a second and look like a doof than go back to being a bully.

Filed under: Mental Health Tagged: bipolar disorder, bullying, mental health, mental illness, my experiences, psychological pain, social skills

Target Pokemon

While my mood wasn’t much better today than it’s been I did two things. I walked downtown to play Pokemon and I went to Target to shop for my favorite things. Halloween decorations. We got some pretty good ones too. I still think we need something a little more scary but our house is gonna be totes adorbs! (yes it’s not english and I don’t care)

I almost forgot to write my blog but I actually remembered all on my own without my alarm and here I am.

I’m still hopeful that I might be on an upswing and it’s just taking a while to hit me.  Who knows?!?