Mental Illness, Death & Buffy the Vampire Slayer

April 2, 2011

It’s been a while since I wrote anything personal or what’s going on in my life and posted it. So many changes and so many things staying the same.

 

I’ve been a shut in. I’ve been anti-social. I’ve been out of my mind with my Bipolar. I’ve had the face pain from the Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN) on and off.  My anxiety Disorder has been acting up. My thoughts and feelings about life in general have fluctuated so much that it’s been rough to focus and complete anything. I have so many writings started and then I get distracted from my ailments. So, I’ve been pretty much working on various novels I’ve been working on forever and watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Ha.

 

It might sound funny but that’s what’s been getting me through the past month or so. I’ve been watching the series from season 1 on. Honestly it is a fantastic show. Well, it was a fantastic show. Underneath the goofiness, the vampires and demons etc., there is depth to the characters that I’ve been able to relate to and I’ve been opening up my feelings about life to myself.

 

I’ve been so disconnected for a long time that my emotions and relationships with people have died. I literally stopped caring about anyone or anything. My memories started cooperating. I started losing memories. My entire life experiences became a distant fog.

 

The final blow was when I started training for a job after 6 months of unemployment and I blew it on the second day. My TN acted up and I was up  all night and took my pain meds. I woke up 2 hours after I was supposed to be there. Since I was 14 or 15 I have always had a job. I’ve even had my own businesses. It was a real blow to me that my illnesses might be severe enough to keep me from holding a steady job. I fell deeper into my denial fog.

 

When I started watching Buffy I started to relive personal experiences that I’ve repressed and didn’t want to deal with. Lost loves, lost relatives, lost jobs, etc. It still seems corny that a cult TV series would start bringing me back to life but it did.

 

A few days ago my Aunt died. She was the one that helped me stop drinking and got me into “recovery”. I stopped going and believing in the 12 steps months ago and now that she’s gone it brought up everything. I remembered everyone that I’ve lost. I am questioning my part in life. In other people’s lives. In the 12 step program itself.

 

It’s tough to lose someone again. Someone I love and had such a strong impact on my life. It’s been really painful lately both emotionally and physically. It’s also been a good thing because it makes me feel human again. Although I can give a good appearance most of the time, overall, I have been out of my mind and almost completely numb. I’ve been repressing my fear, doubts, pains, my very existence. I was beyond hopeless in my mind.

 

I finally feel human again. Just by letting go emotionally I came out of hiding. Vicariously living in this TV show I actually woke up from my fog. Memories, feelings and motivation are surging through me now. I feel like I have a chance at life again.

 

I’m going to go finish watching Buffy save the world again and get another recharge. Ha.


Want What I Have?

September 29, 2010

“I had a person say to me “I don’t want what you have” so I said “How do you think I feel?”” this guy shared at a meeting once. It was funny yet it made so much sense to me. Sometimes I don’t even want what I have. Ya know? Do you? I think most of us live in between happiness and unhappiness. It’s as if everyone has a little bipolar disorder in them. Not literally but everyone has ups and downs in life. Some if us have it in extremes.

If you ask me how I feel right now I’d tell you that I am a fucking mess. I’d list my problems that I’ve mentioned in previous blogs. Well, depending who you are. If you’re the mailman, next door neighbor or the guy that works at 7-11 I’d tell you everything is fine. Actually once I’m in public I feel ok but then I feel bad when I am alone again. I’m also sick of talking about it with most of my friends because I haven’t been good for a while. You might even be sick of reading about it as well. Are you?

Overall, I am usually a positive spiritual person with a deviant warped sense of humor and odd interests. It is a struggle lately to balance my spirituality with my mental breakdowns and anxiety. I start every day with prayer, meditation and medications. The first hour or 2 start off find and I feel fairly spiritually fit. Then reality kicks in and I panic. I choke. I find it hard to function on a daily basis. Every day is a slow progression to a freak out. I get a few things done towards moving. 2 days left before I have to clear the house. As the day goes on I feel more anxiety until I can’t take it anymore. The next day is a little worse.

The part I hate about everything right now is that I feel all alone. I try to talk to people about it and they either pretend that they understand or change the subject. The other thing is a lot of my friends offered to help me and then when push comes to shove they don’t. I had 3 different people offer to help me move heavy furniture out to the trash yesterday and they all bailed. No one wants to help me move or pack and I can’t blame them. They’ve helped a lot in the past. I did it myself. Today I moved all of the heavy furniture to be moved downstairs from my 3rd floor bedroom so when and if my one friend comes on Friday it’ll be easier. It also cleared the floor so I can finish packing. I know this isn’t a big deal in real life but in my head it’s overwhelming. Ugh.

Seems like I can write all I want about it and the feelings don’t change. Usually writing helps but it’s just a momentary distraction like everything I do.

My point is that I have no point. Ha. Actually, I’m trying to say that I don’t want what I have right now so it’s tough to talk or communicate with people and function at all. I know in my heart that it will all pass. This too shall pass. I have to go through with the feelings and move on through it. I know there’s a spirit of some kind with me at all times but I’m just not feeling him right now.

Tune in next time when the writer says “Life is grand. I’m happy joyous and free.”


My Anxiety Belongs to me. You Can’t Have It.

September 13, 2010

I want to write, discuss, talk or whatever it is I’m doing right now, about anxiety disorder and panic attacks. Since I feel one coming on I figured I’d write about it while I am experiencing it. Why not right?

Anxiety disorders and panic attacks are defined many ways in different medical dictionaries, doctors, psychiatrists and the people who are inflicted. Personally, I never understood the attack until I actually had one years ago as a result of a reaction to an anti-depressant. Then I didn’t have one for years until the stress of my last job combined with being diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. I discovered that high anxiety goes hand in hand with the time worsening bi-polar disorder if untreated. I treat both on a daily basis with medications. Nothing too heavy. I’ve been down that route too and it was zombie land for this guy. Me.  So, I can only describe what anxiety and panic attacks are for me.

Remember that nervousness you would get as a teenager when you wanted to kiss a girl or boy in your heart and stomach? It’s like that multiplied by 30 and even 100 depending on the attack. My heart rate goes way up and my stomach has those nervous butterflies then the feeling goes through my entire body while my thoughts race uncontrollably. Usually negative thoughts. Sometimes the thoughts go so fast I can’t think at all. It’s as if too many thoughts create an empty mind or something. Sometimes I sweat and feel like I’m going to pass out but usually it’s the nervousness inside and out that I suffer from.

My anxiety makes me feel immobile and trapped unable to move. It’s crippling at times. Some would say I have agoraphobia because when I am feeling the anxiety and I am supposed to be somewhere I find myself unable to go. Sometimes unable to move at all except to get up and go to the bathroom or move from one room to another.

Luckily I don’t suffer from this everyday. When I was working my last job I had them 3 or 4 times a week at work and once in a while before bed. Now it’s down to once or twice a week. Recently, I’ve been getting them on Friday and Monday nights. I have no idea why. Sometimes the anxiety is triggered by things I don’t want to deal with and things I put in the back of my mind. If something upsets me I get them too. Lately it happens for no reason on the surface and I am afraid to dig for the root cause because it may trigger another one.

For almost 19 years I’ve been going to AA. Yes. I’m an alcoholic too. I’ve been a member of the same meeting group on Monday night ever since. It’s baffling to me as to why I am getting panic attacks on Mondays lately. The closer it gets to the meeting time the more it builds up. Last week It started around 6:30 PM and lasted until 10 PM. I took extra medication and it still wouldn’t go away. I used to be comfortable there withal of my friends that I’ve known for over 15 years and some 18 almost 19.

The new crowd might have something to do with it. Lately it has become a big meeting with 40- 50 people attending and I am used to it having 20 or so. Yes. I’m also claustrophobic as well. This has become worse over the years especially when the anxiety attacks started. It might be the ex-girlfriend that attends that I am mad at. It could be the young lady that rejected me when I asked her out. It could be the loss of friendship I feel with some of my long-term friends there. Oh boy. I’m thinking too mush. Remember I said I felt an attack coming on. Its been getting worse while I am writing.

I love when people tell me to “just man up and get over it.” The same wit drinking. “Just use your will power.” “Your not bipolar you just have ups and downs like the rest of us.”

It’s like any other disease or disorder. If you don’t have it you won’t understand it. I’m just writing about it hoping it will cathartic. It isn’t. At least I had something to write about and you have something to read. I’m going to go hide in a corner now.


Heat

July 7, 2010

I always have an obsession or obsessions with various topics or things. Usually topics that bore other people or they find uninteresting. One time I was obsessed with being obsessed. It’s had it’s good points and bad. Too much of anything is bad for a guy like me so over all it’s not good. This brings me to my new obsession. The heat. High temperatures and their effects on me.

As far back as I can remember I have always hated the extreme heat and especially hate to sweat. I hate that dirty nasty feeling I get from sweating. I even hate to sweat during sex. I don’t like to exercise because I don’t like to sweat. I’ve avoided the heat as much as I could through most of my life. Once I discovered air-conditioning I was hooked.

About fifteen years ago I discovered that it might not be the heat. It might only be the humidity. I traveled to the west coast for the first time in 1997. Actually, it was the second time. It was my first time as an adult. Throughout Washington, Oregon, California Arizona and Nevada I didn’t sweat and found that the heat didn’t bother me that much. I remember one day in Phoenix, Arizona it was 113 degrees outside and I didn’t break a sweat. It was hot and bothered me a little but it was nothing compared to an 83 degree day in New Jersey. Up until then I wondered if my problem with the heat was in my head.

Part of it is in my head too I’m sure. I also have extreme allergies in the summer and can’t be around fresh cut grass, trees, plants etc without having a reaction. I subconsciously associate the heat with my allergies.

Top it off I’m on some medications that are not a great combination with the heat. They make me really tired if I’m in the heat too long and I also can’t eat. I end up eating later in the evening when it’s cooler out. I know this is no good for me.

This year I swore that I was not going to complain about the heat. I was going to deal with it and not say a word. Easier said than done this year. I lost my job six weeks ago and I am home more and spend more time on my porch outside so I can smoke while I write. This is also the worst year for record high temperatures in years. It was 103 degrees today. Of course I am inside more than outside when it gets this hot but I feel tired and lethargic and sick from the heat.

I started looking up articles online to see the heat’s effects on various types of people. It affects people with mental illnesses the elderly, the young, the obese, and people with different medical conditions taking different medications. So, it’s not entirely in my head.

Even so, I am still obsessed with the heat and I keep reading articles all day. I keep checking the weather on and off all day and reading the warnings on the news. Meanwhile, I am writing this on my 91 degree porch at 10:44 pm.  I am 89 % tired, 5% miserable, 4% grateful and 2% sick.


Anxiety Came Softly Through My- a WIndow Today

June 26, 2010

It seems like some days I just have to write off as a shitty day before it even begins. Days like today. In the middle of a decent dream. Nothing too crazy. Nothing too outrageous. I was in a deep sleep to be woken up with orders barked at me. I had to do this. I have to do that. I’m not one of those people that jumps out of bed ready to face the day. That’s why I always try to get up at least an hour earlier that I am supposed to leave or do anything so I get my “quiet time”. I usually take my morning medications then jump into my morning meditations and prayers while wait for my coffee to be made.

I realize that the coffee part of my morning is probably psychological but the meditation and prayers have become a necessity of my day. It centers me. It grounds me to handle whatever the day has in store for me. When I was younger and didn’t pray I slept to the last minute and either grabbed a cup of coffee on my way out the door or bought some on my way to work or school. Since I’ve been starting my days with prayer, I need my quiet time.

It’s funny that I just wrote a blog called “It’s Not About Me”. In the morning it has to be about me in order to begin a contact with my God so I can handle a day of what is to be thrown at me. So I can live my day being “not about me”.

Today it was anxiety from the minute I awoke. It keeps growing and I’m a nervous wreck in the middle of a very long panic attack that seems to keep growing despite my efforts to calm myself. I’m drinking less coffee so far. I’m going to eat. I’ll call someone. I am writing about it. These things seem to help along with my medication. Ugh.

Anxiety is something I developed as I got older. Things used to role off of my back when I was younger but not now. Since I lost my job a month ago the panic attacks lessoned. While I was working I would average at lest three attacks a week mostly while I was at work. I only worked four days a week. Go figure. In the last month I’ve only had about three or four for the month. It’s getting better. It seems that it will never go away. Especially when you are in it. It’s like when you catch a cold or the flu you feel like you are going to feel that way forever. It passes. This will too. I just have to do the things that help me feel better. Eat. Talk to someone. Take my medication. Even writing about it helps a little bit.

I have friends that get these attacks and in the past I never understood what they were going through. In my head I was thinking, “be a man.” Or “toughen up.” Now that I get them I understand and I turn to the people that understand. If I tell my friends that have never experiences it they just don’t get it and try to give me advice or tell me to toughen up etc. It doesn’t work that way. Most times I have a panic attack I have to ride it out and feel the anxiety.

At least I know in my heart that this too shall pass.

I hope.


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