Comfort Zone

I’m about to embark on an adventure! Yes, a real adventure! I’m going to Kentucky for a week for a women’s outdoor adventure camp thingy. I’m going alone and have to fly to Nashville, then drive 2 hours to the middle of no where Kentucky. Then I’ll be caving, canoeing, ziplining, and other outdoorsy shit. You’re probably asking a few questions at this point. Let me see if I can help.

Am I manic?
No, but I was when I booked this trip and it seemed like a really great idea at the time. Right how I’m rapidly face palming cause I don’t really want to go anymore.

Does this even sound like something you would even do?
No, not at all. I’m not really outdoorsy and I need 2 hours to get ready just to be around people other than Greg. I also am petrified of groups of women and don’t like to go anywhere alone. I also am not fond of driving places I don’t know my way around in. I’m scared half to freakin’ death.

Then why are you going?
Because I’m tired of being a quitter. I always sign up to do things when I’m feeling good then the minute I feel the slightest bit anxious I back out. Well, I’m done quitting things. If I sign up for something I’m following through. I don’t like the way I feel about myself or like the way I perceive others think about me every time I give up or quit something. Plus, this will be a great experience for me. I will be totally out of my comfort zone and really give me the opportunity to shine through the face of adversity and fear. I’m freaking out now, but I know myself well enough to know that I will have a great time, meet new people who will hopefully not think I’m a weirdo, do some pretty adventurous stuff that I know I’ll love, and in the end have a great time. And even more importantly, I will be so so proud of myself for stepping up when I’m feeling scared and feeling depressed and fighting through anyhow.

And I’m sure you’re thinking, when will you be back? We’ll miss your witty posts.
I’ll be gone a week and can’t blog from where I’ll be. But I’m sure I’ll take notes and have a kick ass post for you when I get back next Monday. Er, probably not then cause I’ll be tired, but later in the week for sure. So while you’re not reading any new posts, check out the archives. There’s a lot of bad writing there that you might have missed. So wish me luck and pray that I don’t weird everyone out or fall out of a tree or something. Until then…

p.s. That’s Orion my kitty. He’s super great!

An Emily Post

There are many books that I keep on my desk for everyday reference. The most important are The Kinsey Institute New Report on Sex, The Philokalia, and the very most important Emily Post’s Etiquette the 17th Edition. I know. I’m weird and I’m in a mood so I’m about to get snotty to boot. I first read Emily Post as a child and was amazed that by following a set of rules and behaviors, you could gracefully handle any situation. And if you were in a situation where you didn’t know what to do, there are rules to tell you. And that was the beginning of my love hate relationship with structure.
On a normal day most of this doesn’t matter. Antiquated rules have been slowly updated to fit modern times and things have become more relaxed. I agree with all that except in a few areas. But for me the biggest is business etiquette. You earn my respect with proper business practices, manners, and follow up behavior.
So here’s where we get to the point of this post. I got the WORST thank you note ever in the mail today from a salesman at a store where we recently bought some furniture. Mad props for sending one at all in this day and age, but if you’re going to do something do it right! Let me just show you. You’ll get it.

The only reason I did this in the first place is because he wrote it on the card upside down and sideways and i was appalled. (But my Mom said I’m doing this because I have too much time on my hands.) I mean, come on. Why bother if you’re going to half ass it? In red were the corrections I would have made to make it actually sound sincere and not like something that he had to cross off his to do list.

I did appreciate the thought, but it got me thinking about how much is said and written that is insincere. Let’s just remember to write honestly and sincerely and speak the truth, but always remember to do so with grace and tact.

To close let me tell you a dirty joke.

Why don’t WASPS(white-anglo-saxon-protestants) have orgies?
Too many thank you notes.

Disassociation

Last night was super duper bad. I really wanted to be able to write something funny about disassociating for 2 hours and remembering little of it, but I just don’t have it in me. I’m exhausted mentally and physically. So I found this funny little top ten list on the interwebs. Enjoy!

You Know You’re Bipolar If………
10. You think Robin Williams should Perk Up.
9. You just bought the Kenny G and Berry Manilow box set just because.
8. You think going to bed on Monday and getting up on Friday is a good rest.
7. What do you mean you’re tired—I had only 3 orgasms!
6. You can not remember the number 7.
5. You know the names of at least three antidepressants and fifteen
mood stabilizers.
4. Your cat’s name is Kay and your dog’s name is Jamison.
3. You bring your own research to the doctor’s.
2. You think a drive from Vancouver, BC to Miami is something to do
in four days.

And the Number One reason you may be Bipolar is:

1. Last night you understood the secrets to the universe and this
morning you are contemplating whether the jam goes on top of the
peanut butter or under it.

The Truth About Hubby

It’s been a pretty insane weekend. All good things just super busy running around, hanging out with friends, and working on home projects. When I was hanging out this weekend, my friend’s wife mentioned that she had read all my blogs. She said it sounded like, “I hate Greg, I love Greg, I’m leaving Greg, Greg’s for sure going to leave me, then I hate Greg then love him again.” Then she asked if he had read the blogs and I said of course he had and she was shocked. This all surprised me very much. Maybe it shouldn’t have, but it did. I guess I know how I feel deep down, but depending on my mood/bipolar state I think of Greg in many different ways. But never for one second do I ever imagine my life without him in it.

From the beginning of our relationship there have been challenges. In the very beginning I had to tell him about the PTSD and sexual abuse issues and the problems they caused. He didn’t even flinch. We had been living together since pretty much day 1, and about 5 months into our relationship I had to go into intensive trauma therapy. Every day I came home completely exhausted and emotionally spent. He fed me and put me into bed and comforted me. And this is a 20 year old male here we’re talking about. Again, he didn’t even flinch. For some reason, he decided to keep me and we got engaged and then married. In August it will be 9 years. We’ve been through a ton in that time. Two mental illnesses with numerous manic and depressive episodes, a 1000 mile away move, my parents divorce, me getting diabetes, 20 months of being separated by more than 7000 miles with him working his ass off in Iraq, and sooooo much more.

Here’s the thing. We are best friends. We tell each other everything. We communicate. We cannot however have a relationship that looks and sounds like everyone else’s. Our lives are different. We have to view certain things in a way that might not make sense to everyone else. When I’m manic, I want nothing to do with him and want everything to do with other men. This happens every single manic episode. We had to learn to deal with it. I get angry with him and act like I hate him when I’m manic. Again, it happens every manic episode. When I’m depressed, I get clingy and needy. It happens every time. I can’t stand 3 seconds of him not being around when I’m depressed. Again, it always happens. We have learned to adapt. He knows that I will love him until the day I die. He has faith that when I’m having a hateful day that it’s just the illness and I’ll pull through and act lovingly and often apologetically in end.

Somethings won’t ever change and somethings will evolve and grow over time. My views on marriage, sex, self worth, and my other life choices aren’t normal. They mean different things to us. But we work around it. We have an enormous about of trust in our love, in our partnership, in our marriage. I’m sure a lot of people may wonder how in the world we are still married, and will probably still be asking that 50 years from now when we’re still married and I’m manic off being an ancient cougar hitting on the pool boy.

The most important thing is to be secure with yourselves and be totally honest. We know who we are and love ourselves no matter what shape we’re in. If you can think like that then screw what the world thinks and just be happy when you can be happy and hang on to each other when it sucks. And if you are feeling hateful to each other, back off and give each other some space. And that bull shit about never going to bed mad, well it doesn’t work. It just ends up in exhausting screaming. Just go to sleep, it won’t seem so bad in the morning.

And one day if you are really super lucky your husband will buy cowboy boots and a hat, and wear them with jeans and a button down shirt. And you will realize that you’re husband is smokin’ again and you can hit on him all day and that fixes a lot too.

Greg- I love ya. Thanks for always accepting me for the crazy strange amazing person that I am. You’re my rock. And my little brown box of course. :)

*This was written at like 4am when I couldn’t sleep. Sorry if it makes no sense.

Titled

So it always happens. You meet someone. You start a conversation. And inevitably the question always comes up. “What do you do for a living?” It’s a tough question for me to answer. Usually I babble incoherently about crafting and making phone calls and my cats and buying stuff and getting my hair done. But I don’t really have a short accurate response that I’m comfortable with. I can’t just break out the whole, “Well I’m disabled” thing right off the bat with someone you don’t know. Especially when they ask for what. And then it’s a big mess of trying not to sound like a crazy person with the bipolar line.

So I’ve decided to offer up some alternative titles for myself. Please feel free to vote or offer up alternatives. Here we go:

★ Trophy Wife
★ Kept Woman
★ Mistress of the House
★ Woman of Means
★ Handicapable
★ A crazy cat lady
★ Housewife
★ Domestic Goddess
★ Property manager
★ A Lady of Leisure
★ My husband’s personal assistant
★ Emotional specialist
★ Professional Internet Shopper
★ and last, but this only works if i keep blogging, A Writer/ A Blogger

Now on to perfect using these with confidence!

Change

If you haven’t already figured it out I really hate change. I just can’t seem to cope when even the most insignificant thing changes. For instance, we got a new kitty cat last week.

His name is Orion. He is a 1-yr old blue point
Siamese.

He is pretty awesome, but it’s been stressful trying to get Bella and him to get along. I’m pretty sure the stress is what caused me to get rid of 3 cocker spaniels when Greg was gone. But Orion is so curious and fun and super lovable. I think he’ll make the cut. For Pascha Greg and I were making bacon candy. We stepped outside for a minute and were talking and remembered we left the bacon on the counter and Orion has been exploring every inch of the house. Greg remembers this and says to me, “Oh no, we’re going to have to go peel the bacon off the cat now.”

But this has been the least of my stress/freakouts. Sorry about the angry last post. I just am not coping with the erratic schedule. When Greg was over seas I had a rhythm. Not a schedule per se, but a rhythm to my days and weeks. Since he’s been back I’ve also gained a lot of weigh. When I was alone I was doing great with diet and exercise. Now I just can’t find that rhythm.

As some of you might know, I’m an Orthodox Christian. In my mind a pretty horrible one, but one non the less. This Sunday was Pascha, our Easter. It’s about resurrection and cleansing of our sins. It’s also the liturgical new year. I had really hoped that I would find a way to put all my past issues away and start a new cleansed and renewed. I really wanted that. I wanted this change and I never want change. Well it turns out that my mind is protesting and all it wants to do is keep doing the same bad things that I’ve been doing to cope. It’s disappointing to say the least.

I’m beginning to learn that change isn’t something that happens over night. For me it takes a whole hell of a lot of time. I just don’t know how to cope when a bunch of stuff happens all at the same time. It’s been a few things lately that have really thrown me for a loop. Big things that I just don’t know how to deal with healthily. I need some kind of life coach to come in and tell me what to do and when and keep me out of trouble. I feel lost and I can’t seem to find my way.

I better end this before it gets any more rambling. But change is my biggest challenge and with bipolar disorder there are triggers. Usually the triggers are caused by change. I think the more I get on a schedule the better off I’ll be. I just don’t know where to start. Suggestions?

Do you know where my husband is?

  I have seemed to misplace him yet again. Oh no, wait. I think his travel system sent me an email telling me where he is a few weeks ago. I’m so not even kidding….

There are two things that no matter what I seem to do, I just can’t make any real progress on.

One: Anger

Two: My fear of abandonment

 

Let me tell you how these two love to play together. It’s making me miserable. I had never gotten angry before. Honest! Ask people that have known me for years. I had a friend once who was fond of telling me how there was something really wrong with me because I never got angry. You want to know what finally pushed me over the edge? My priest’s cilantro. He hates cilantro with a passion that I thought was only reserved for the devil. Nope, he abhors cilantro. So somehow connecting cilantro and my problem, he decided that I had every right to be angry, too. Well I guess it took an male authority figure giving me permission to finally become angry. But I didn’t just become angry, I became vengeful because I was pissed off about being abandoned (see fear of abandonment) by Greg when he decided to stay in Iraq instead of coming home to me. There was a pretty long period of time where I did whatever I wanted and didn’t care what he thought. It was kinda messy as you might know if you’ve read older blog entries. Since then things have changed some and I’ve worked on the issue of not hating his guts and I’ve actually become pretty fond of the guy. But every time he leaves, I lose it. It’s a huge trigger for me. I one way or another lose it immediately after he leaves for the airport. I had been becoming vengeful and hateful. I didn’t care about him or his feelings or his opinions. In short I was being a super bitch, but for a number of reasons I have gotten better about that. When he left this time, I was crushed and felt like a little scared kid. I felt sad and depressed and alone. I didn’t want to hurt him. I was feeling too hurt myself. So I used my iPhone journal app. and wrote this:

 

The quiet is deafening.

My heart feels like its been shoved up into my throat.

My pulse thumps in every inch of my face.

The panic is welling up inside of me.

I’m agitated and alone.

Tears are pushing at the back of my eyeballs.

I feel like I’m generating my own heat.

I take big heaving breaths trying to calm the impending fury.

I must push through all of this.

There is no one to rescue me and I must be strong.

I have to protect myself now.

There’s to corners to cut, no tricks, no back up plans.

There’s just me.

Me breathing deeply.

 

I’d actually recovered nicely a few hours after that. Then today I got a damn travel system email informing me he’d be in Seattle for I week, so now I’m triggered and I’m back to being pretty freaking angry. Sorry that this post isn’t funny, but some days, as my mom says, just bite.

 

Serenity

  A few posts ago I wrote a story about my cat after a traumatizing dentist visit. Today, unfortunately I had to go back for more tortuous dental work. This time I had a different mind set about the whole thing and had also changed my meds a bit. It made all the difference. I’ve decided to find the even the smallest bit of positive in something and exploit the hell out of it. But to get there I really had to thing a lot about what I can change and what I cannot.

I was at the BWI airport last night having a full blown panic/rage/kill everyone attack when my husband told me something.

Greg- “I know your eyes are going to roll back into your head and get stuck forever when I say this, but maybe you need to think of the serenity prayer.” Damn you Greg and always being right all the damn time.

 

If you don’t know what I’m talking about or if you’re like me and had to look it up to make sure I got the words right, it goes like this.

 

Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

 

I thought it might be helpful to identify things that I can’t change and things I can. So here goes with my lists.

 

Things I cannot change:

  • The time it will take for me to feel my face again after 4 novocain shots
  • When my crazy mood swings will happen
  • Other people’s behavior and feelings
  • Random things breaking
  • How big my feet are
  • Having bipolar disorder, PTSD, and diabetes
  • Being allergic to most kitty cats
  • My genetics
  • Laughing hysterically and crying when people talk about poop
  • Predetermined events/ God’s will
  • How I love too much
  • When I can’t sleep and have tried everything
  • My random personality
  • Manic speed talking
  • Medco pharmacy sucking

 

Things I can change:

  • How I react to situations
  • Most of the time- What I say to other people
  • My outlook on negative events
  • Getting my lazy butt back in shape
  • What I eat
  • Deciding to laugh instead of cry
  • How I treat people
  • Not let other’s opinions and actions bring me down
  • How productive I am
  • I can find a kitty cat I’m not allergic to out there somewhere
  • I can redecorate rooms I all of a sudden can’t stand
  • Decide to stay in therapy or not
  • Being so impulsive
  • Wake up each morning and do the best that I can do for just that very day

 

You know I’m looking at these lists and I’m realizing something I haven’t thought of before. Some of the things on the cannot change list I don’t want to change. They are what makes me, me. And some of the things on the things I can change list I don’t want to change. Because they also make me, me. But to put things in these groups makes me realize that there is so much bigger than me and that sometimes I just need to let things go. So maybe make your own lists. Post them and let me know how it goes.