Not About Me?

August 10, 2011

I seem to write about the same thing when it comes to personal stuff. It’s either about my conditions, my personal life and me and me and me. That’s what I know about most. I feel the most. If you haven’t noticed or read anything I’ve written before you know that am extremely self-absorbed. Most of the time I don’t mind. I even like it. Sometimes I wonder if I could be different.

 

I stopped going to 12-step meetings 6 months or so ago. The one thing I forgot about was the contributions I should be making to others. Doing things for others. Then again did I ever help or do anything for anyone without seeking the rewards. Even if it was to avoid the feeling of guilt I rarely do things for people without secretly wanting something in return.

 

I found that the greatest feeling in the world is to give to someone freely with no expectations yet it has always been the last thing I think about doing. Interesting.

 

I’ve never considered myself a selfish person. I am very giving if I am asked. I don’t always think to offer. I know I’m not the most important person in the world and “it’s not about me” as I’ve been told over and over through my 19-year stint in the 12-step program. I’ll help you out if you ask most of the time.

 

Today was a test, learning experience and some fun rolled in there. I woke up late not feeling well mentally and physically. My face hurt. I was stressed over the usual things. I felt depressed. At one point I was ready to cry. Meanwhile I had a commitment to meet a friend of almost 20 years. Her and her husband and friend moved years ago to Texas and I see her once a year or every other year when she is in New Jersey to see her family. This was to be the first year her daughters came to meet “Uncle Fishbone” as they’ve heard me referred to for their 11 and 12 years. Fishbone is an old nickname that I only hear from my friend.

 

As the time for our meeting approached I felt more anxious and my face pain kept coming and going. I debated back and forth whether I was going to be able to make it or not. I was feeling depressed and agoraphobic. I took a shower and got ready to go to see if I would feel better. I felt worse. I waited to the last minute and finally gave up. I texted my friend and cancelled. She understood and was disappointed. I was disappointed also. I ran out of cigarettes and had to run to the store. As I was leaving the store I felt better. I had to see my friend. I changed my mind. I was feeling a little better. I texted my friend and asked if it was cool if I changed my mind. No response. I drove home and she called just as I pulled up to my house. She was still going to the diner and I was going to go. I went.

 

It was a fun time hanging out with an old friend and 2 pre-teens. Her daughters were a trip. They were funny and intelligent and I had a great time. My friend told me I seem like the same old Fishbone to her. For better or worse I took it as a compliment. I felt great and a great 2 hours. We even talked about how everyone thinks about themselves more than anyone else. Not just kids.

 

I came home and crashed hard. Between the anxiety and face pain earlier in the day and the excitement of socializing I fell asleep hard and fast. I woke up later in the night and stayed up all night. I woke up the next day feeling pretty good and productive.

 

I wish I could remember that it’s not all about me. For now, I’m going to keep writing about me.

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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.


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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