Thursday, September 25, 2008

Lady Lithium

I call her lady because only a female can come up on you so sly. Four days in, and I'm noticing the effects: the constant diarrhea and abdominal pain (it makes my IBS look like a kitten), the severe dry mouth. The dry mouth I can handle. The gastro-intestinal stuff ... Gah, wasn't IBS enough? I've been up and down all night in the bathroom. I haven't slept well. I'm dreading when I go to lithium twice a day. The bathroom and I will become very intimate, I'm guessing. Least the lithium doesn't act totally like IBS. I don't get the sweats, the shakes, then throw up.

And on another front, I'm still having the spins.

I was also a bad girl yesterday. The day before yesterday, I cancelled my therapist appointment. I was so down that I simply couldn't handle having to go out, much less drive Jb to work and back, then out to my therapist and back, the back to pick up Jb, etc. I just couldn't deal. A moderate depression as these things go. Not suicial like the week before, but depressed enough to be absolutely immobilized. My therapist is a doll and has volunteered to help me fill out SSI because ... I just can't get started on it myself. It's far too overwhelming. She's even volunteered to make a home visit to help. So I hope I didn't piss her off by canceling. I haven't heard from her yet.

I guess my big thing to do today will be to call SSI and get them to send me a Starter Kit. Their webpage says, "Don't worry if you don't have all the information. We'll help you get it." I wonder which information they mean, and if it's true. I've heard that you have to give them everything they want and be as detailed as possible. I kept horrible records until some time after the hospital. I thought I was merely depressed, that there was no help for people like me. I didn't know I had options, safe harbors, like the hospital, SSI.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Letting Go

I sometimes wonder if I should let Jb go. He never asked for this. He told me last night he expects me to do some cleaning today, but I'm not sure he understands how difficult that is for me. How little I give a fuck. And it hurts him. My ups and downs, his constant working to support us, my inability to keep the house clean, the dishes done. The way I drag my feet about cooking, drawing up a grocery list, going to the store, though there's only a stale box of Rice Krispies, some peanut butter, and corn tortillas in the fridge. And frankly, I don't care. I don't eat during the day anyway. I could go without dinner. The only reason I bother is for him.

There's a point in some relationships where the bad starts outweighing the good, and when the bad goes on long enough, you can't help but wonder if you've lost the good. Having said that, Jb is my lifeline right now. He's who I hold on for, as little as I'm able to hold on. I don't want to hurt him -- even when I know I am -- because without him, I'd be completely lost. I'm not sure what would stop me during my episodes if it weren't for thoughts of Jb. But I've become an absentee girlfriend. I don't have the patience or attention span to listen to him. I lose myself in games and books, and when he's harsh with me, telling me I can walk up to the store to get my American Spirits, I'm not sure he knows that, no, I really can't. I think that he thinks I need to pull myself up by my bootstraps and be done with it. I know he gets annoyed with me.

I was a crazy, awful wife to my ex. Crying all the time, moody, confrontational, hating him as much as I loved him, cheating on him, leaving him for impulsive jaunts to Michigan, Wisconsin, all with his money, buying things I didn't need. Spending, spending, spending. Being diagnosed with bipolar brings all of that into clarity for me. And while, I knew I had to leave him, that I had to hope there was something better, we were great friends, and in the end, I convinced myself that as hard as it was for me to leave, he would, eventually, realize he was better off without me. And that's what made it so hard, to know that I'd become a burden, and the sigh of relief he must have felt when that burden was lifted. How freeing that must have been for him.

I wonder if the same could be said for Jb. He says he wants to stay around, that if I didn't love him, he'd cry and cry and cry. An ocean full of tears. But sometimes people don't know what they're saying, what they're asking for. Jb would be angery to read this, saying something like, "Because I'm like your ex. Because I'm like every other man. I thought you'd know me better by now." He'd be hurt by the similarities I'm drawing. And maybe he is the stronger man, but I'm a handful: suicidal one week, manic the next, and in between I walk around in a moderate depression, unable to leave my front door, not wanting to interact with the world, incapable of drawing up a grocery list, needing my therapist's help to fill out SSI.

Sometimes I think Jb'd be better off without me, and that I should be the one to set him free.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I hate sitting down in my therapist's or psychiatrist's office and having to answer the first question they inevitably ask: "How are you 'feeling'?" Because my answer is bitter and jaded:

"Well, I was suicidal for four days the week before last. I was hypo Friday afternoon. By evening, I was full blown manic. I switch from day-to-day, week-to-week, despite being on a mood stabilizer, an anti-anxiety medicine, and three different anti-depressants. My boyfriend can't catch up with me. He calls me every afternoon to, again, see how I'm "feeling" today. Whether it's to be sweet or to know what he's coming home to, I don't know. To top that off, it's been six months since my hospitalization, and you know what? There are days I still sleep all day and hide in bed. There are still days I'm too scared and anxious to walk through my front door. I don't go anywhere because I'm afraid of the bus, and when I go out, I think people are always looking at me and talking about me. Then, there's the lack of focus and motivation, the forgetfulness, the inability to attend to detail. The dishes have been sitting in the sink for three weeks, the house is a mess, and I can't make myself draw up a grocery list. I honestly don't care whether we eat or not. I cry at the drop of a hat. I'm reactive to anything negative in my life: a fight, criticism, perceived rejection. Movies and songs and books trigger mood changes, and I can't always predict which movies and songs or books will do that. I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which means I'm also stuck at home with diarrhea, sometimes up to 6 times or more a day. I know every bathroom on every route I take--just in case. And don't forget the "spins." One of these days I'm gonna fall and bust my head or bruise my tailbone. Because I can't walk without losing balance. I look like a drunk navigating the halls. I have problems getting up because I get disoriented and plop back down again. Then there's the irritability and bitch factor. I pick fights, I'm paranoid about what Jb thinks of me. I'm irritated and just want to be left alone in a relationship that takes two people. My boyfriend has actually sat me down and told me that because of being so withdrawn, I haven't been participating in the relationship. I'm anti-social. I don't want to do anything, go anywhere. All the things I used to like don't matter to me anymore. I jump from thing to thing, never able to settle on any one thing to do. So, I don't know. I can't sit or walk for long lengths of time because of my lymphadema. Sitting makes it worse. Walking more than a block or two is impossible because of the pain in my shins due to the medical stockings, which no insurance will not pay for and which are $400 every three months. So. What do you think? That's how I'm "feeling."

Is the total frustration evident?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Never Say Never

Raggedy edge, my ass. Got stopped last night by the police because my tags were one month out of date. We explained to him that we'd just moved and that the mail hadn't caught up with us and thanked him for letting us know, thinking all the while, if we were lucky, he'd let us off with a warning. No such luck: $60 ticket. On top of that, I had to renew my car registration to the tune of $120. I want to be like, "God. Seriously. C'mon."

Jb's got holes in his jeans, and we can't afford to buy him a new pair, though he can only go so long before work makes him get a new pair. His boots were so wrecked the sole was falling off, so his supervisor/boss took him to JC Penny and bought him a pair of $90 Timberlands. The one short sleeve shirt I have is demin and has started to fray at the sleeves like a pair of old pants fray at the bottom of the leg. Besides which, I ripped a hole in the arm. Our comforter is 10-years-old and tears at the slightest touch, which means the cat's had a double dose of fun, and there are feathers freakin' everywhere, everywhere. Can't afford a new one there.

We've a budget of $100 for two people for 14 days of dinners. Do the math: that's $7 bucks a day to feed two people. Between the battery in the car, the ticket, and the registration renewal, we've lost rent money. We can borrow from next month, but that's like robbing Peter to pay Paul. God only knows how we'll make rent next month. It's just putting off the inevitable. Gah, some days, some days, you have to wonder what all this is for.

You know, I'd really like to see a Senator or Congressman try to feed his family on a month's worth of foodstamps. I'd like to see him live in a studio. I'd like to see him try to make it.