Another One of Those First World Problems

I feel complaining about insignificant things and labeling them “FWP” exonerates me from being a whiny spoiled person living in the best place in the world.  I’m also a jaded ex-catholic, so there is already a layer of guilt underneath everything I say and do.  

I want to post this for another reason.  With the hell I’ve been going through for the past year from medication side effects, divorce, being ostracized by my children and doing all of this in a delicate mental condition, I welcome superficial trivial problems. 

Here is one now:

Well, so far this is a very good day! I colored my hair this week from an online hair color boasting it is just like the professional color. I don’t know why I bother. The brown of my hair turned out beautifully but the white came out a light brownish reddish. Anyway……I used the last of my root concealer two days ago (forgot all about covering my roots on Tuesday and was out doing errands for four hours). Luckily I wasn’t aware so had all of the confidence of a good looking person. Back to my roots (pardon the pun) I was even debating wearing one of Allison’s hats to hit the Walgreens early before too many people were there to get a new can of concealer. In the bathroom I took one more last ditch effort, fingers crossed, to look in the bathroom closet.  There it was buried under cold medicine…..half a can!!!  Halejuha!

Dear Life:  please keep bringing on those kind of problems.  I really need a break.  xoxo

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This is Going to be a Long One

So much has happened since my divorce was final I am going to start at the end and do sort of a flash back thing until I lose track of which order everything came in.  Please follow along…

The elation and anticipation of being off for the summer was thwarted because I had to ween myself off Pristiq. Withdrawal symptoms have been complete exhaustion, not eating, and brain zaps to name a few.

I planned this withdrawal very carefully.  Two years ago, I stopped taking Abilify because of twitching in my legs.  Two weeks later I fell into a deep depression.  I was put on Seroquel.  Two weeks later, another depression because the dosage wasn’t high enough.

One of the things I am terrible at is judging my state of mind.  I think it goes back to 43 years of coping with my moods alone.  I had to mask them from others and myself.  Not recognizing my last decent into into hell, my therapist and I came up with a 10 point question sheet to ask myself if I’m feeling different.  It makes me feel more secure.

I spoke to Tristan about needing his help if I go into a depression.  I spoke to Allison and told her if this happened she should call Tristan if I couldn’t.

After two weeks of careful planning the withdrawal and doing everything I’m supposed to do I took a dive.  It was more like a crash and burn; I don’t even remember the dive.

Getting Tristan’s help was more stress that help so I called the only sane person I know, my sister.  I started to cry and she said to call my psychiatrist.  I did and he called me back very quickly. My sister had called his office and said it was an emergency.  My Dr asked if I was suicidal because my sister had threatened to call an ambulance. Total overreaction.  Just writing this out makes me feel humiliated.  And I was and am.  What do they say about best laid plans?

The reason I had to stop taking Pristiq is because it was causing “Serotonin Syndrome”.  I had all the classic signs especially the hypo-mania.  I used to look forward to this little gem in my non-medicated un-diagnosed life.  Now it really sucks.  No pleasure from it, just agitation, irritability, poor sleep and all the other bad traits.

I wrote most of this blog the day after the crash.  I must have lost my concentration at the end because I had begun writing in a “stream of consciousness” style.

I wrote about how nobody understands, how I can’t trust anyone to be there, why am I even trying so hard, what is there to live for……

I know that is how I truly felt.  It’s not true today.

It’s just me and Allison now.  I am alone to take care of me.  I have always taken care of Allison on my own, but I’ve always had help for me.

I’m going down another half dose this week, I’ll be brave.

Necessity is the mother of invention.

I was cleaning out the bathroom drawers.  I have been accused in the past of throwing out things I shouldn’t have.  I can usually counter that accusation by finding the item in question.  I am the record holder of “Supreme Finder” title in our family.  I can find things without even looking or getting up.

As I said, I was cleaning the drawers in the bathroom vanity.  I pulled everything out first, cleaned the drawer and then put everything back in.   Well, almost everything. There were the loose tooth floss toothpick things, hair ties, stray, Q –tips, old toothbrushes, etc. Those I threw away.

The real danger came when I approached John’s drawer.  I pulled the drawer open and felt my blood run cool for just a moment.  Okay, that may have been my imagination, but you get the gist of the apprehension I was feeling.

In his drawer were razors, empty toothpaste tubes, used stray toothpick floss things, an old handle for the blinds, combs and a few pens.  Pretty straight forward I thought.  A no-brainer.  Ah, no.  Nothing is ever simple with John.   It is my fault.  I should’ve realized it.  I should have tried to get into his brain while I analyzed every piece of bathroom paraphernalia in his drawer.   Hindsight is 20/20.

The next day John casually asked me if I had seen a white pole when I was cleaning out the drawers.  I didn’t remember until a few minutes of thinking about it.

“Oh, yeah, I threw it away, ” I don’t know why I felt so confident in myself at that moment. It didn’t last long.

“I had made it into a handle for my razor so I could shave my back”, he said quite calmly.

“Oh no! I thought it was just an old pole!”, I cried (it was just an old pole).

He was very calm, unlike him calm and said, “It was the handle from a blind and the end was broken in just the right way so the razor handle fit.” I thought this was a little strange to invent something when he could have bought one.

My first response to a problem, especially when caused by me is to begin to solve it.   I took a handle from the blinds in the bedroom, no dice.  I took one from Allison’s room, no.  My last one was from the kitchen and it didn’t work.

I felt terrible, probably worse than the situation warranted (as is also my way), but I kept trying to fix what I had caused.  I think I was also trying to save face.  I had always heralded the fact that whatever I was accused of throwing away I had always found it and felt quite smug about it too.

My first line of defense was Amazon.  I looked for something to replace “the rod”.  I found two things, so I screen shot them and sent them to John.  He texted back saying “I will figure something else out”. Always the martyr.

I had an idea of going to ACE Hardware with the razor and getting a piece of pvc that it would fit into.   I could also get some plastic tubing.  I meant to go there twice, but I always ran out of time.  Yesterday I went to the bank, the post office, grocery store, etc. and I thought I could fit it in.  I was in the process of trying to convince myself to go when I had an epiphany.

I had found a replacement “razor pole” and he said thank you, but no.  My part was done. I can move on with the other 15- 29 things on my to do list.

Who was I trying to kid? Of course, I didn’t move on!  I went to ACE today and told the guy what I needed and what I needed it for.  I asked for pvc pipe and plastic tubing.  I got it home and after much filing, shoving and twisting etc., I got it to work!

Pheww, that was close!  I almost wasn’t able to move on with my life.


I’ve included the blueprint to the “razor pole”  below in case anyone is in need of such a high quality gadget.

IMG_1668

High quality blueprint

Going Underground

I have been underground again. I didn’t feel I had anything relevant to say for the last few months. I have a certain criteria* of the things I will post.

My post must be:

  1. interesting.
  2. have my unique point of view (I’ve finally put it to some good use).
  3. have an “END” or a clever phrase to wrap it up (wink).
  4. true.
  5. Anonymous. It cannot contain any details that would lead someone to figure out my real self. Literally my name, etc. I know I am either extremely egotistical or completely paranoid that anyone really cares, but nevertheless it is an issue.  I have remained incognito my entire life.  I think it is one of my “things” that no one except my immediate family knows the real me.  The crazy me.  The unbalanced me.  The totally fucking exhausted keeping up appearances me.

* There has been a flash flood of stories that meet my stringent criteria.  Tune in.

I’m Going to Adam Lambert!

I’ve got tickets to the Adam Lambert concert in a few weeks!  You can’t possibly know how excited I am!  Picture me skipping.

The last concert I went to was U2.  Yes, a very far cry from Adam Lambert.  Whereas Bono’s lyrics soothe my hectic mind, Adam Lambert’s voice does.

When I found out he was coming to my city, I felt sad and disappointed because I didn’t think I could get anyone to go with me.  About 15 years ago I got free tickets to Duran Duran (big fan).  I convinced my sister to go with me, but I knew then it was a one-time deal.

That night I, Allison, Tristan and Tristan’s girlfriend, Addie, were in the living room hanging out. I was going to spring it on them, but my timing had to be perfect.

I asked Allison first.  She shot me down.  I explained how much fun concerts are and she would have a great time.  “But not with my mom!” she said. She’s fourteen by the way.

“Tristan, would you go?” I asked enthusiastically.  Tristan tends to be a little eccentric sometimes so I really did think I had a chance.

“I can’t go to an Adam Lambert concert! Isn’t he gay?”he asked.

“Yes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go.  I know I’ll be beating the men off with a stick, but I really can’t go by myself, “I said “Anyway, most of the crowd will be middle aged women and teenage girls.  See, Allison, we would fit right in!”

Next on to Addie…”How about it Addie?  Would you go with me?”

“You bet, I’d love to go!  Let me check my calendar!”, and shbegan looking at her phone.

Tristan says, “Addie I didn’t know you liked him.”

“Oh, yeah, he’s gorgeous!”

Wow! I had no idea! Wait, not so fast!

“You like Adam Lambert?” asked a disbelieving Tristan.

“Oh, I thought you said Adam Levine!”

Poor Adam, he is either getting mixed up with Levine or Miranda.

 

One Year Anniversary

An anniversary is coming up. It’s been almost a year since I filed for divorce from John. In some type of modern day miracle he met all of my demands to not go through with it.

I asked him to see a counselor. He did. I wanted a bank card with my name on it instead of always having to ask him for money. It was humiliating. He got one for me. I gave him a pretty lengthy list of behaviors he must change. He has. That’s the miracle!

I also wanted him to go to my therapist with me so she could explain my condition and what I needed from him. He came with me the next appointment. She explained the disorder and how it effects me.

So the question I have left for myself is…. was I wrong? Was he just acting like a narcissist, but not really one? That’s the best answer I have come up with. My mother was one. Maybe I am just extra sensitive. I think it also has a lot to do with age. John had treated me badly pretty much of our whole marriage. I don’t think the same approach would’ve worked with him 10 years ago.

Of course, there are problems. I am still in the habit of withdrawing. When I realize I’m doing that it takes all of my willpower and energy to make sure I reconnect with him. I do love him, I always have. At least now he is making it much easier.

One horrible thought keeps seeping in.  What has he been through living with me for 20 years, a mental case? Oh yeah, I am medicated now, but it has taken at least five years to even out my mood.  And even then I just suffered two major depressions in less than three months.  He has always hung in there.  Hanging in there emotionally abusing me, but none the less, stayed. I don’t have an answer.

“The Great Christmas Crash of 2015”

I have been going to post around ten times in the last month. Each time starting, writing a line and giving up. I just haven’t been able to express myself in the same way since “The Great Crash of Christmas 2015”.

To bring you up to speed of my saga, I was suffering from tardive dyskinesia (uncontrolled muscle movement), a side effect of Abilify.  I had an urge to clench and un-clench my right leg and tap my left foot. My doctor and I decided to go off Abilify. Two weeks later I had a depressive meltdown. I went the next day to my psychiatrist and I started on Seroquel.

I was doing fine on that for about another two weeks until the depression hit again. I had no idea how bad I really was. The week of Christmas was a nightmare for me. The in-laws were here, my mom had died at Christmas just last year, Emily and kids weren’t there and my sister and Dad weren’t coming. I would excuse myself every night at 6 o’clock, go to my bedroom and drink wine. That didn’t put a dent in my mood. That should’ve been a clue, but still it wasn’t.

One morning I had a meltdown very similar to the last one six weeks ago. I called my dr to get in and he was out of the office on vacation. I couldn’t help crying on the phone to the receptionist. How humiliating. She gave me his cell number and I was too embarrassed to call so I texted asking for him to call at his earliest convenience. That’s right I was on the verge of suicide, but had the wherewithal to mind my manners.

He doubled my dosage of Seroquel. After a few days staying in bed watching every English mystery on Netflix , I finally felt better. John was amazing during this time. I will have to do a follow up on my new marriage soon.

After being on a prescription roller-coaster for the last three months all I can do now is stay the course and try to keep the fear at bay. I sometimes forget that even though medicated and a hell of a lot better, I still have a bipolar disorder to wrangle each day.

Hopefully I am back again, I would say normal, but that would be ridiculous.

[More to come, the rut of all ruts, drinking, medicinal weight gain, the turnaround of an abusive marriage, Adam Lambert, etc.  So much finally to  write about.]