Friday, November 23, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
New Years is a bad night for me. Part of me thinks of the old Barry Manilow song, "It's just another New Year's Eve/It's just a night like all the rest..."
Part of me is feeling sad. Depressed. Wanting to put a gun to my head and pull the trigger. I realized yesterday when I w as eating Chinese in the Village with a friend of mine, that I was conceived on New Years Eve by a 12 year old girl who had too much to drink. Could my earliest memory of consciousness be that of my conception between a drunk sperm and a drunk egg?
After all, drunken conception is nothing new, it has been happening as long as primal man slithered out of the the primal ooze that was the river Charybdis and became the genus Homo. John Lennon once made a comment about half the people in the world being conceived by too much alcohol on a Saturday night. I shouldn't be teasing these Saturday night specials, after all it made my father's side of the family multi multi millionaires. It is like the Bible says "the sins of the parents are passed down to their children?"
I am lonely. I feel lonely. Thinking about conception has made me horny. But I don't want to get laid. I don't know what I want. I have an urge to fly; I want to have one of those flying dreams I use to have when I was a child, but don't anymore. But I do not know where I would fly to. There is no where I want to go other than my bed. I want to sleep. I never want to wake up again. This horrible thing is depression, and it has me in it's sharp talons, not letting me go. I am screaming, and no one is listening. No one can hear my soul in pain.
I had my last drink on September 26, 1996. I can still recall it, sometimes I can still taste it. September 25, I had a bottle of red wine, adding grain (Everclear) to it so I could get buzzed faster. I passed out. I woke up the next day, no cottonmouth, but thirsty. I went to an AA meeting where being so thirsty, I couldn't even hold my glass of water. Finally got some down, got drunk again, and went into the DT's. I have not had a drink since then. Every time I get an urge, I recall that drink, the DT's; being strapped down to a bed and shaking so badly that the bed was moving, and the feeling passes. At the time I was drinking, I was hell bent on destroying myself. I was in pain, felt my life had not meaning, and it was easier to stay drunk than to actually live.
Now I have tonight.
I want to drink tonight. I want to take a bottle of vodka and take a long hot bath in my pajamas. Drinik the bottle in the bath tub. And when the bottle is empty, crash it against the bathtub, shattering it. Taking the shardsand slitting my wrists, my ankles, my throat. How long would it take to see the blood ebb out before going to sleep? I just want the pain to stop. I want the loneliness to stop. I feel all alone. I feel empty. I feel worthless. I feel like I should have been born dead. I don't know why I was conceived in the first place.
I'm hollow. I don't even feel alive anymore. I feel like a Basilisk. Dead. Empty.
I am not afraid of dying. That is easy. It is living that is hard, and living , so much of it sucks. I feel the loneliness the despair and it chokes me. I do not know who to ask for help. Maybe I don't want it. All I know when I feel like this, I want to curl up and never wake again.
Please God, grant me that one wish. Please. Because I am afraid of tomorrow. I feel as if I have been lied to, it does not get better. All the hard work I have done, that I am doing, back breaking work when I hit bottom to be where I am now, was it worth it? I do not mind being alone. I cannot handle lonely anymore. I feel so lonely I really could die.
All that hard work, and just now, when I feel the most vunerable, the most wounded, the one time I need someone I am alone. Like Tennyson's Percival, if I was to see the Holy Grail, I would know that this quest is not for me. Like Percival, the purest of Arthur's knights, , but still not pure enough to touch the Grail. I am not a knight in shining armor. The only dragons I have slain are of my own making.
And I just can't see this fairy tale ending happily. A long time ago I use to do tarot readings. They said I was psychic. I can often see how people will die in this lifetime. I have seen my own death, and know it will be by my own hand, 2 years from now give or take. And this prophesy I want to change. I just want not to be alone right now. I just want someone to hold me until this feeling passes. I s that asking so much? But as always, I am alone. YOu come into this world alone , you die alone, but I never thought this middle part called life would find me alone as well.
A blood red rose
mere token of affection
from a silver vase
encompassing the stem.
it stretches towards light
from a bare bulb on a cluttered desk.
on silky soft petals.
Will you put on a tourniquet
before my life ebbs out?
December 1982-November 2007.
A friend asked me why I am so blue. the other day. Should he be concerned? I replied no, I am writing this blog with things from the book I am writing, with this name. It has been untitled so long, it's time to explain things.
One of my dearest friends suggested the name. Maybe because he knows I am an anglophile. But maybe because it's Churchill. Churchill got me a job in a news room. I was the only Yank working for an organization who on the death of Princess Diana knew that she was related to the former PM and his mother Jennie.
So I started a novel about my struggles, half real half made up, back in 2000. I wrote copiously until December 2002, when I was put in the hospital for 30 days and given ECT. I had a bad experience with the ECT and stopped writing.
I started writing it again a few months ago, when my two muses each acting without the other;s knowledge, convinced me to write/blog again.
This was followed up by two more bloggers, also hyper linked to my front page here. Daring me to write again.
So I am trying. I took the material from 5 years ago and re worked it, for this blog, for whomever might read it. But there will be a lot of new things, as I write about recovery and all that entails. The older stuff, I will mark by dates.
But even the old stuff, its all new as one depression does mirror another, and one mania mimics another as well.
And this recovery, it's hard, damn hard.
Monday, November 19, 2007
as a memory fades
lingering still in my mind.
The stench of decay
fills my nose
with your scent
I am dying.....
A memento once given falls to the floor
from an overstuffed book
broken and faded red petals on the carpet
Now a shadow of their former beauty.
The smell of death is everywhere
what was not
destroyed by a razor sharp knife
The pain is all encompassing
I can stand it no more
Will you stop it, please
"Every shooting star that is seen from earth is an angel who has just received his wings"-
Popular Folk Myth
When surrounded by vast
a black sky
that is nothing
from starry nightlights.
on the way
to the moon?
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Today is Veteran's Day.
While many no longer remember those who gave up their lives for us in wars, today we remember them, those fought in any wars, anywhere in the world. Those from WWI are long since dust, those from WWII are finding their way there now. Recently, the Ken Burns special on WWII said vets from this war are dying at roughly 1200 a day. My father is in this group, and when he heard that stat he got sad, thinking of many of his army buddies are no longer here.
I've seen Vietnam vets homeless, I saw one frozen dead in front of Trump Tower and people walking by like it was nothing. I noticed the man was missing a leg.
And now our boys and girls are coming back from a war with a high rate of alcoholism and suicide. And that scares me. They don't deserve that.
I am not getting political here, that isn't what this blog is about. The blog is about trying to educate people on mental health issues, and publishing bits of my novel, which has the same title of this blog. But we have I repeat HAVE to as what is the greatest country in the world- do something for these soldiers other than 3 hots and a cot at the local VA.
So while it's Veteran's Day. lets think of those soldiers who need our help the most. And thank them.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Well, I went to the state's DBSA board meeting today. All was good, and fine. But because of the med adjustment, my hands were shaking so bad I was sitting on them half the time, like I was back in grammar school. I cannot keep food down, and everything tastes like Mercury, so I have stopped eating and am drinking protein drinks.
I am in hell now, feeling alone and lonely. I can feel the flames singe my skin and my hair. But in order to get out of here, I have to keep going. I love Churchill. Such a great example of a man who dealt with the black dog, and lived an accomplished life.
Baby steps. Walking baby steps out of here, out of hell and into recovery. I've done it before. Right now I just need to take care of myself, get use to the meds and take it slow. 6 months from now I will be awesome.
Just wait and see.
Friday, November 9, 2007
I normally do like this time of year. Autumn sounds so much nicer than fall. Watching the leaves fall in my part of the country is the most beautiful gift that Mother Nature provides. All the magnificent hues of reds, yellows, and oranges. But the leaves soon fall off the trees, withering, dying, reminding us of our own mortality as we watch children playing in the leaf piles. I watch the squirrels scampering around in a last minute of food collecting before the winter arrives. It always makes me smile at their antics. And I must confess, I feel lucky to live in a town that has both black and gray squirrels.
But with the change of scenery brings sadness. This is not a depression, this is a sadness that is overwhelming. It permeates my entire body, through each pore, worming it's way into my soul. I take extra care to make sure I am doing well, watching it carefully so it does not transmogrify into something more overwhelming and sinister. It is hard. There are changes at work, and many of us feel our jobs are not as secure as they were prior to September 2001. Yet I manage to stay optimistic, I am fortunate enough that I have saved up enough money that I could live for a year frugally and write if I lost my job. Not that many people have that luxury. Or perhaps it is me; I have once been homeless, so I watch my money carefully with a sense of dread that it can happen again.
Despite the best measures, I found myself slipping towards depression around Thanksgiving. I do not know why, after all, my heart's desire has always been two things, one of them looks like it will happen next year. I have always wanted two things in life, one is to be a published writer. I have an agent. It may happen. I just need the discipline to make it happen. The other heart's desire will not happen. That is to be a "normal" person, with a family. And real manic depressives should not be with other people, since we drive them crazy, as our moods washing over us and changing as easily as turning on and off like a water faucet , as mutable as the tides. And perhaps that is where the depression came, from sadness. A writer, like all artists, tends to be a solitary introvert. I find when I write, and I get on a roll, I do not want to be bothered. I take the phone off the hook. I walk around in a t-shirt that covers down to my knees, and just write. As a person with bipolar disorder, I find the bests writing I do is when I am slightly depressed, just somewhat sad, as you would feel after seeing a movie like "Titanic". Or slightly manic, just ever so slightly just as a normal person would feel after 3 cups of coffee. In these moods I have the discipline to sit and write for hours with a glass of water or a Snapple by my side. But no, this is down and out depression. I see the warning signs. Two days without showering. Three days without washing my hair. Two days without brushing my teeth. I tend to hypersleep when I am depressed. I am now sleeping 12 or more hours a day. I cannot concentrate. I cry at the drop of a hat. I take such things like St. John's Wort. This does not work. I call my shrink. He suggests I come back in to go back on meds after being off them for about a year. With trepidation, I do. I don't like meds, I really don't. But I have decided if it is between meds or suicide, I will take the meds every time. Suicide is not an option. I had Lyme disease so my body chemistry now does not allow some of the more standard drugs anymore. He and I discuss what options there are. He feels I am not in danger to myself, or others, so hospitalization isn't an option. So it comes down to lithium or Depakote. I've been on and off lithium for years, I personally don't like Depakote because it makes me fat. So I leave his office with a script for that and start taking it.
My body does not adjust to it well. I go several days unable to sleep, unable to keep food down. I have nightmares. I am fortunate enough to have a good friend on the same coast who is a hypnotist, and he helps me through the drug induced nightmares. I find as the lithium enters my bloodstream to normal levels, I get suicidal. Very suicidal. I decide to do the unforgivable. I want to die. And being a Virgo, I have to organize it. I paid off all my bills, checked my 401K and my will, and made sure the cat was taken care of. This makes me feel good. It's a fail-safe in knowing that I can do this if I choose to.
Then one night it gets bad. Very bad. I wake up in a cold sweat. I try to get back to bed, and I cannot. I feel alone. I do not mind being alone, but this time I do. Maybe it's my hormones. I feel lonely. That is overwhelming. The sense of despair which has been my constant companion for the last few weeks is sitting besides me, it's arms wrapped tightly around me. I cannot breathe. I sense a panic attack coming on. And then it hits. The suicidal feeling washes all over me. I am not thinking clearly. All I know s I want to die now , right now and ease this pain. I feel like it's not going to get better And I want, no NEED to end it now, and fast.
For my own safety, I have no sharp knives in my apartment, or razors.( I do shave but it is with a safety razor). I have no toxic things in the house like Drano, for two reasons, my safety and the cat's. There is no place in the apartment to hang a noose, unless I feel like hanging a stuffed anial. And I am on the 2nd floor, so if I jump, all will happen is broken bones. I took care of myself when I found a dwelling place. But then an idea occurs to me. Perhaps it was because I was reminiscing on a quote from Tolstoy "Happy families are all alike". I live near the train station. Every hour a train goes from NYC to Washington DC. I can throw myself under the train. I get in my old green Ford, and drive to the train station. And just missed the last train, as luck would have it. I sit on the outside, on the cement ledge looking down on the train tracks, my feet swinging softly on the track, my feet making imaginary circles. I look at the train tracks and I know when I see the train coming, I just have to jump down, walk to the thrid rail and lie down. It shouldn't hurt too much, what ever pain there will be will be fleeting. I feel somewhat at peace, very calm, an emotion I haven't felt in a long long time. I am at peace, knowing in less than an hour, I will be one with universe and the stars. I will be anywhere but New Jersey.
It is an absolutely beautiful night, lots of stars in the sky, and a sliver of moon. the air is clear. I
find tears streaming down my cheeks. I do not know why. I do not feel alone anymore. I feel some presence near me. It's 3 am and there are no other people around - cept for a cop. There is indeed a a person next to me, a police officer. He sits down next to me, his badge and belt buckle shining in the moonlight.
"Are you Ok?", he asks.
'What are you doing by yourself at 2 am here? Are you drunk?"
I assure him I am not drunk. he moves my blonde hair off my face, to get a better look at me. I am surprised that such a big man can do this so quickly I don't feel him do it.
We both look at each other with a hint of recognition in our eyes.
We knew each other in college. He was in one of my Lit classes when I was a Teachers Assistant. He makes small talk with me, and realizes I am sitting on the curbside because I want to jump. And a miracle happens. He does not talk to me anymore, we both just hear each other breathing and stare at the beauty of the stars. I feel totally at peace. What seems to be an eternity later, I hear the train coming. I can see the light. I know the police officer's breathing is now coming harder, his adrenaline kicking in. He thinks, no he KNOWS I am going to jump. I look at him, his brown eyes staring deeply into my blue ones. I get up, he is breathing real hard, staring at me. And then I offer my hand to him.
"Can you walk me to my car, please?" I ask him as the train rolls by.
The smile he smiles would light the entire Vegas strip. "Sure", he says and it is over. I am safe, aI am alive, and in the end, that is all that matters.
The suicidal feeling still stays with me, it's still here, it's overwhelming. But I am not going to act on it. I won't jump. And that, strangely enough gives me comfort.
Copyright- 2002, 2007
Second day in the hospital. Slept badly,woke up with a headache and backache from the inch black plastic mattress.
I told the staff I wanted to leave and threw a major hissy fit. I don't usually have hissy fits, but this was very uncharacteristic of me. The nurses told me I couldn't go, and the pdoc then told me if I leave I would be going involuntary. So I knew when I was beaten.
Since July I have been listening to my dark self, to hurt me, to let the voices wake me and let me drown.
So I buried them today. Buried the sirens. No Ulysses chained to the mast , no Prufrock and the mermaids. My new mantra is Mermaids/Sirens bad. Ignoring them is good. Maybe it's my Eureka! moment. If I keep listening to their siren song I will be dead by Christmas. So death, or get better. I am going to work on wellness.
So wellness it is. I napped a bit, but that is what it is. Had lunch, and then went ot a group. Played Bingo in therapy and won a small stuffed white kitten toy with blue eyes. I looked at her and decided to name her Hope.
I'm still scared. Everyone is nice, but overwhelming. I am scared. It does not get easier each time here. It's hard. But nothing worth having isn't easy, and getting well is not easy. It's supposed to be difficult. But maybe it will be easier here now that I have Hope.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
(Note: Written back in September. But still true in November, though meds are stable now.)
One of the weirder songs I somehow collected my ipod is "Get a Job" by Sha Na Na.
That song must have been in my mother's mind today when she called me and was quite exasperated. "Get a job" she said. "Anything."
Now this is the weird thing. When I was in school, I had several jobs at the same time. I cleaned houses. I taught Sunday School. I tutored spoiled kids in history and English. I waited on tables to graduate to cocktail waitress. I even considered the offer I got when people from Playboy came to our school and one of them offered me 2,500 to take my top off for one of their spreads. I turned it down, though it did appeal to my wild manic side I had back then.
All the years after school, I worked in jobs I was overqualified for. Secretarial because I didn't think I could do better. I wanted to work in Manhattan reading manuscripts in slush piles. But thouse girls got no money, and I was my family's daughter. A personal assistant was the best I could attain.
And even though the money was good, I hated it. I worked part time at a bookstore, to help pay off the student loan, and frankly, I was so manic back then I could work almost 2 full time jobs and party.
And then through circumstance, and bipolar spending, I learned to curb the money and save everything. Live frugal, put half salary away every pay check. Invest. Be Smart.
So now when I fell on my feet I had a little safety net.
So what's changed? In my 20s and 30s, I ran on pure mania, crashing and going back to mania.
In my 40s, I am finding I am no longer on mania, the manic moods are fleeting, lasting only a day, a week, and hour.
The depression hangs on, going to suicidal thoughts, and for the first time in my life, I hear voives, and smell things that aren't there.
I am no longer bipolar. I am bipolar schizoaffective.
I have to take my ipod when I go shopping, so I don't hear voices. It's become my steady companion.
My parents don't understand this. So far, the voices are all benign, because I cannot understand them. It's like they are talking Latin for all I know. But the smells are driving me crazy. And hearing things that aren't there. Every night I wake up at 3:33 am thinking I hear a baby crying.
There are no babies in any of the flats near me. The oldest child in the complex is in grammar school.
Most of the time I cannot take care of myself. The depression is so bad I cannot do more than bathe, letting my hair go a week before I realize it's time to be washed. I might go to the bathroom and get undressed, forgetting why I was there in the first place.
I am turning into my Grandfather who had Alzheimer's. But I am still young.
None of my friends know this. When I go out with them I am an actress. It might take me all day to look good, get the makeup right and all, but I pull it off.
I have been pulling it off my entire life. Smile when you feel like dying.
I wish my parents understood. I wish someone understood. I wish I had a real friend in real life, not cyber life, who understood.
I hate me. I would gladly sell my soul to feel better again, but this illness has stolen my soul. Instead, I hear voices in my ears, the sounds of mermaids singing, and daily struggle not to hear their sweet siren song so I will not drown.