tHe haPPy grOUch

tHe haPPy grOUch

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Sunday coffee and blogging... Wait, it's Tuesday.. Tuesday coffee and blogging...

Without the boy here, it's very difficult to keep track of the days.
It's been almost four weeks since he's spent the night here with me. I've seen him a small handful of times over the last month. Easter, for a short dinner visit. A couple dinners out, at his tennis matches, or when he needed me to drop off his ROTC uniform...
I always thought there would come a day when he'd want to be at his dad's more often. His dad's is the fun house, lots of toys.. four wheelers, snowmobiles, dirt bikes. He doesn't feel "emotionally challenged" there; he can cope with his feelings by burying them. It's a bit more, how do you say, "relaxed"; fewer rules and restrictions, more freedom. And perhaps he feels closer to his brother there. And perhaps they need him there for that same reason. But I need him, too. Probably I need him too much (Norman Bates's mother syndrome). I suspected it would come. I just didn't think it would be so soon, and I wasn't at all prepared for it.

Logan has been gone for some time now. She'll be 22 this month. And with Dawson gone most of the time now, the empty nest has fully set in.
And now, without children and without a partner, I've truly become alone.
I think I already mentioned in a previous blog, that living alone isn't empowering, or liberating. At least not for me.
It's just.. lonely.

According to the advice of others, there's all kinds of things I could be doing to enrich my life, to reinvent myself. Get a new hobby or two. Meditate. Walk. Knit. Read. Write more. Spend time with friends (If I even have any). Join a gym. Join a group of some kind. Get out more...
Perhaps once my new meds kick in, and I've climbed out of this "down time", I'll find something that I enjoy. For now, though, I lack the interest and/or motivation. For anything, really. But, it'll pass. It usually does. I just have to wait it out. Get through it.

And yes, as always, I'll go on to speak frankly about being bi-polar, about borderline personality disorder, the depression, the anxiety. It doesn't bother me, I'm not ashamed or embarrassed.
I met with a new psychiatrist last week whom I really liked. She's my age, she has two kids, both boy and girl, both my kids ages. She was very laid back, yet also professional. Seeing her is much more personal than receiving treatment at Acadia, where you feel like you're shuffled in with the rest of the crazies, given a prescription, and shuffled out.
Anyway... After trying a multitude of medications over the years (Zolaft, Depakote, Topomax, Abilify, just to name a few..), perhaps the Latuda will help.
The changing seasons are always more difficult for me. I'm not sure why (I hear it's that way for a lot of other bi-polars.. fellow bi-polars, raise your hands, lol). Spring and fall usually find me changing jobs, starting or quitting school, having an affair, getting a divorce, obsessing over some new hobby or activity until it becomes unhealthy, binge drinking, up and moving to a new place, draining my savings until I'm poor and destitute, or some other life altering behaviors... (I don't imagine I can fly, it's not quite as sensational as they make it out to be on tv). That's why I'm always hesitant. Over the years I've learned to cope, to "stay in place". Don't start anything new, don't leave anything old, don't change my mind, don't change direction, don't do anything. Is it just "my time"? Am I making a mistake? Will I regret this? Unfortunately though, that overcompensating also becomes a source of angst. In anything in life, making a decision becomes one of the most challenging things in the universe. And so many times, I just stay in place. Stay stuck. Do nothing. Fighting with yourself constantly, is exhausting.
Exhausting is a good way to describe it all.
Being afflicted this way is exhausting. It's not a joke. It's not a scape-goat. It's not a myth. I don't like to call it "mental illness". That seems too heavy. But it's real. And it's exhausting.
The moods (and please know that bi-polar moods, or BPD moods are not like what you experience every day), the anxiety, the depression (and oh, at times it's so fucking crippling), the highs (although sometimes the highs are quite nice, that's why we hate Depakote), the roller coaster... it's all. so. exhausting.
Not to sound morbid (and no, I'm not suicidal)... I used to be cursed with what I liked to call "mortality anxiety". I was always afraid of dying. I am not a religious person,  so I don't really have the afterlife to look forward to (although at times I surely wish I did). But lately, the last several months or so, maybe a year even, I seem to have tamed that mortality anxiety. I seem to have come to terms with dying. And simply because, it'll finally be a release. And everything won't be so exhausting anymore.
Again, please don't freak out. I'm not going to go walk into the lake and not come back out. It was just a realization I've come to over time, and thought I'd share.

I once read a quote that said- "Life is supposed to be enjoyed, not endured". And yes, that makes sense, but it's a pretty far reaching goal. It's not very realistic. And if nothing else, I'm cursed with being a realist. Although, I'm also still slightly hopeful. I'll keep enduring, in the hopes that maybe something will bring it purpose, enjoyment, enrichment, fulfillment. At least once in a great while. Hopefully. Until I can be not so exhausted anymore.

Random insert (and another thing I've discussed with the psychiatrist, and will pursue with my new primary care provider)... I was thinking about my kids. Trying to recall something from when they were young. And, I can't. I can't remember anything. I can't remember what their faces looked like when they were young. I can't remember things we did, or places we'd been, or moments in their lives.
And I've always known I can't recall memories like other people can.
I don't remember things. When I say "I don't remember things", I guess I mean, I can't remember anything in my life beyond, oh, about the last five years or so. Nothing.
The memories I do have are photographs. I'll think I'm recalling a memory, but then I realize I'm recalling seeing a picture of something, or someone, or a place, or a happening. Oh, I remember the birth of my eldest! Wait, no, I remember the picture of it. Hey! I remember my first wedding! Wait, no, that was just a photograph. I see the pictures as memories but I can't remember the actual moments. I don't remember any of it, at all.
It started some time ago, almost as a joke, when my friend would recall something and say- do you remember when we did... (this, or that, or whatever)... And I'd say, ummm, no, I don't remember. How do you remember it?
Unfortunately, I've had that same damn conversation with pretty much everyone in my life. With my daughter, my friends, my mother, my ex-husband(s)... hundreds of times.
I don't remember the things I've done. I don't remember my children when they were growing, I don't remember anything. I certainly don't remember anything about being young myself. At 6, 16, 26... Did I even exist?
I know it sounds crazy. It sounds crazy even as I type it. My short term memory is pretty flawless. But my long term memory? Well, I seem to not have one at all.
And I haven't even really talked to anyone about it until recently. Because recently, I've come to accept that it's probably not normal. And I should probably talk to my doctor about it, instead of stuffing it, burying it. Perhaps my son gets some of his coping skills from his mother after all.

Anyway, back to reinventing yourself, enriching your life...

I'd like to say that going back to school is something I'm doing for those purposes, to enrich my life, reinvent myself. But it's not. It's an obligatory necessity (as is pretty much everything else in life). Essentially, I need to prepare for employment between the time I'm too old to bartend and the time I'm dead. And going back to school, even if it is just Beal, just an associates for administrative professional, will do that. It's practical. It's doable. It'll prepare me to be employable in that time frame, that space between bartending and death.
I know, exciting stuff. Practicality trumps excitement. Such is my life.

Practicality trumps excitement. I guess that's my life motto now (at least it is while I'm "managing my moods"). Someone please engrave that on my tombstone, or my urn, whichever.

I haven't always been practical. Unfortunately, the one area in which I'm never practical, and always reckless, are in matters of the heart. And that habitual behavior has turned my life (and the lives of others) upside down, on more than one occasion. Probably more than ten occasions. Probably even more than that...

Once upon a time, there was a girl who was in love with two men. It was several years ago. I won't go into detail; it's a tale too long to tell. But if you've been reading this blog over the years, you are probably already familiar with it.
Anyway... Back then, the girl described that "love triangle" as one of the most painful experiences of her life. She wrote- "There's a reason love triangles only exist in the movies or on tv, because they are too painful for reality". And so, she had to choose. Because, let's face it, she couldn't have both. Even though she couldn't help but love both. But she had to choose. She had to sever ties to one or the other, much like choosing to lose one of her very own limbs. She had to carve out half of her heart.
And she did. She lived through it, though she lost half of herself in the process. But life went on. And she hoped and prayed she'd never, ever have to do something so painful again.
And yet, here she sits.
Well, my second ex-husband didn't always make sense, but he did always say- "life is about circles". Perhaps he was onto something.
I must have believed it at one point, I have the tattoo on my back to attest to that.

Speaking of ex-husbands... I recently heard that the maximum amount of times you can marry in the state of Maine is 5 times. I'm over half-way there. Damnit, there goes my hopes of collecting ex-husbands and becoming the next Elizabeth Taylor. Perhaps I should move out of state?

Anyway... I suppose I should get off this computer, put down my proverbial pen, since I've rambled now for nearly two hours, drank five cups of coffee, and smoked half a pack of cigarettes. Do something productive. Rake the leaves, vacuum the house, do the dishes, take out the trash, make some candles. Go talk to the cat. Decide on my next ex-husband. Something.