Archive for March 2013

It Will Get Better

I’ve still been in a low. I need to be working on my book, but I can’t bring myself to do it quite yet. Not until I get this whole contract thing figured out.

I’m trying to get in to see a new psychiatrist to hopefully sort out my meds…again. Being low sucks. Beyond words. My whole body hurts. Nothing is fun. I just exist. And generally don’t want to.

I try to put on a happy face for the benefit of my family, for everyone around me…I feel like I’m so transparent though, and it’s obvious to everyone that I’m not really happy. Maybe that’s just my inner monologue getting paranoid.

I just live inside my head so much. I always have. And then when I’m manic, I just blurt out the most inappropriate things…and I take way too many sleeping pills just to fall asleep. I feel like there’s so much abnormal wrapped up into one person.

It’s wonderful to me when I discover there are people out there who are like me, who I can connect with in some of these ways that make me feel like my own personal freakshow. I feel like when I meet these people, like they were sent from God or something, and at just the right time. Like when I’m having the worst time…someone unexpected will come along and say, “Hey, it’s okay. I get it.” That is the greatest.

I know it will get better. I know it will. I have to believe that. I have to believe it for the sake of my family, my children, my life…I wouldn’t wish depression or bipolar disorder on anyone. Not on anyone. Reading about it doesn’t do it justice. Experiencing it is hell. Not constantly…but sometimes. And sometimes it seems like it will never end. The times I can’t write, I can’t function at all…I don’t get it. It’s a mystery to me. I have never once cursed God for this, because I feel very blessed…but I’ve often wondered why.

I just hope and pray – fervently – that the day comes when my medications get figured out once and for all…and I can maybe live a somewhat normal and stable life. It’s been a little rocky until now. I think I can hide it okay from those who I want to, but anyone who knows me at all well knows the truth. I want to be happy. That’s all I want. I want to feel happiness the way “normal” people seem to feel it. I want to want to get out of bed in the morning and I don’t want to want to get back in bed all day long. I want to find enjoyment in daily activities without having everything feel like it’s taking every single ounce of strength I have to perform the most trivial, menial task. I don’t want to push away the people I love because I feel like a burden. I don’t want to sit in my room and hide and cry for hours, not wanting to be here.

I want to be happy.

Everyone keeps telling me it will get better. It will get better.

It will get better.

I am nervous, excited, scared, happy, and sad all at the same time.

It’s fun being me.

I’ve been looking over a contract to possibly get my book published.  Suddenly I’m freaking out!  I’ll have three months to finish it once I’ve signed the contract.  

What if it sucks?  What if no one likes it?  What if…?
I need to calm down.  Breathe.  Maybe do some yoga?  Nah.
I am manic as hell today.  I took some energy pills, because yesterday I was in depression hell.  I figured today at least I’d get something accomplished.

I massage my temples, trying to get this manic headache to go away.  All I want to do is pace around the house. I need to sit down. But I can’t.  I need to do a lot of things.  But I can’t.  I can only use up this crazy energy, like the way I cleaned out my entire walk-in closet, switching all the clothes from winter to summer.  It took two days.  I haven’t slept.

I’m seeing my doctor soon to get my meds figured out…right now I’m a mess.  A better mess than I was yesterday, but still…
My thoughts are racing…I can’t keep up.  Deep breaths.  

Everything will be okay.

Everything will be okay.

Here is a sample of my book if you’re interested in reading it once it’s published:

That Night

Scratches covered my body. Blood ran in tiny rivulets from each scratch. My daughter had them, too. Bruises appeared in places on my body and I had no idea why, or how.  I couldn’t find my shirt…what time was it?

I made it home and fell into bed next to my husband, attempting to put the pieces together of the night before in a way that he would understand…that I would understand.

I didn’t understand.

I remembered the wine…the Ativan…more wine…more Ativan…it was raining outside.  I remembered the bathtub…

What happened?


After a two-day hangover, I started putting pieces together.

The alarm clock had startled us that morning.  Six a.m.

We were still drinking.

It was a Friday.  I had to drive home from my friends’ house with my children in the car.  I must’ve fallen into their rose bushes while holding my youngest daughter, which explains the scratches up and down our arms and legs.  Waves of guilt washed over me when I discovered this.  I was officially the worst mother alive.  I wanted to die.

I drove home completely blacked out.  I got there okay somehow, feeling as if I’d been hit by a train.  Yet I was still completely drunk.

The first thing I did was call my therapist to tell him what happened the night before.

I couldn’t stop sobbing.


Medicaid Expansion

I attended the Medicaid Expansion Advocacy Extravaganza in Columbus, Ohio, on Thursday along with the rest of the We Care People and members of the public who wanted to show their support for Medicaid expansion.

On the way there, I gazed out the bus window, taking in the scenery. I looked at all the houses in rows, wondering what the people were like who lived there…wondering what kind of day they were having…wondering if they were struggling…wondering if they would benefit from the proposed Medicaid expansion.

We arrived at the Riffe Center in plenty of time, and I began to look for people to talk to about Medicaid expansion. I began with Chelsea Verhoff, of Kalida, Ohio, who said, “It’s good for Ohio. I think Medicaid expansion is important for Ohio so that those who are struggling and working full-time but making too much money to be on Medicaid should receive health insurance.”

I then spoke with William Casteel, of Cleveland, and asked why Medicaid expansion was important to him. Casteel said, “So you can go to the doctor. I’m in pain now and I can’t go to the doctor.” Casteel continued by saying, “We need funding for the methadone program. We represent them. It’s for recovering addicts and Medicaid doesn’t really cover it.” I then met Buster Fields, also of Cleveland, who, like Casteel, is in recovery. Fields stated, “It’s important because – not only for me, but for the people behind me. We gotta start here.” Fields said he sought treatment for his addiction when he “was sick and tired of being sick and tired.” I told him I could relate.

Around this time, the speakers scheduled for the day were beginning to start. Each speaker moved me in some way. Clark County Sheriff Gene Kelly remarked that “the governor is the quarterback of this team.” I liked that. And what I liked most about this event was the lack of ambiguous political rhetoric; I liked the “realness” of it all. To hear from real people who are really being affected by the decisions being made by our elected officials is what I found most moving. The Sheriff went on to describe the number of overdoses and suicides in Clark County in the last year. There were 39 overdoses and suicide rose by 29%. “Prevention and treatment work,” said Sheriff Kelly. “It saves tax dollars, it saves families, it saves lives.”

We heard from a doctor, Krisanna Deppen, who described her plight with patients; she focuses on caring for pregnant women with opioid dependence and their newborns. “Patients with substance abuse issues are frequently overlooked,” she said.

Single mother Pam Harris spoke about her struggle to pay for the medications prescribed for her mental illness along with attempting to make ends meet. “Someday I hope to not have to choose between paying for my medications and paying my electric bill,” she concluded.
The most moving for me was when Governor Kasich took the mic and spoke his thoughts on Medicaid expansion. He talked about the courage it takes to make the right decision. He provided a few scenarios, one of which was a college student who’s just come home and is hiding in her room…having the onset of a bipolar episode. “Do you know what that’s like?” he asked. I had to blink back tears as I thought of my parents dealing with me and my bipolar episodes. Well, now they’re Andy’s to deal with. Still…the words spoken at this event did get to me.
Kasich talked about how we are all equal in God’s eyes, from the people who live under the bridges to the people who live in the most expensive mansion. I looked out the window, trying to imagine living under a bridge. And surviving. There are so many people out there who would benefit from this Medicaid expansion, not just William and Buster, but so many nameless, faceless individuals I will never know. They need us.

On the bus ride home, I replayed the events of the day in my head. I was surprised that I was so moved by so many of the speakers. (I have to add here how wonderful Phil Atkins is and how great he was as a host on our excursion…because I was thinking about that, too. I’m so blessed to work with the people I work with.)

But also on the ride home, I was thinking about some of the people I met, all of the people I saw, the speakers we heard…looking out the window, I saw some graffiti splashed across the side of a bridge. I looked closer and spotted a chair under the bridge. I hugged my arms around myself, thinking of the words spoken minutes earlier…no matter what socioeconomic status, we have to help people who want to help themselves.

There should be no question.

It’s the right thing to do.

Seeing P!nk

Preface:  I don’t know how to write and not sound like a crazy person.  I guess I just need to accept the fact that I am a crazy person and move on.

I just got back from seeing P!nk in concert.  Andy got me the ticket as a present for my birthday and our anniversary, which are both coming up.  I went to the concert with a bunch of girl friends.  I haven’t really slept.  It was an experience that I’m finding hard to put into words.

I realize that to many people, maybe I’m not cool or hip for liking P!nk.  She’s too mainstream.  I don’t give a &$^%.  I love her.  I was also told not to wear one of her shirts to the concert, because that’s not cool.  It was the strangest thing…we got to the concert and it turned out not to be a high school fashion show after all.  
Okay, enough with the sarcasm.  Like I said, I love P!nk.  Adore her.  Our seats were actually standing spots in the pit by the stage, so she was mere inches away from us at times. 

 It was amazing.

From the second she shot onto the stage, I was mesmerized.  I was ecstatic.  It felt like my heart was in my throat.  I was bursting with excitement.

The night was a roller coaster of emotions for me.  
She is every bit as wonderful vocally in person as she is on her recordings.  I love that she is real, and raw.  And she does not lip sync. She is a performer.  An actress.  An acrobat.

I died when I heard the first few notes of “Sober,” arguably my favorite song by her.  At least, the one that’s touched me the most.  It’s a song I’ve listened to countless times, many of them while drinking or hungover…and the lyrics have always spoken to me…not always to the point, I guess, of quitting drinking, because it took me way too long to do that.  But it did eventually hit home.  It’s helped with my sobriety.  I consider it instrumental in the whole process.

Ironically, I was talking with a friend right before the concert started about how sober, I’m actually an introvert.  She didn’t believe me.  The drunk me was an extrovert, and I sort of adopted that as my personality.  Well, as the words in “Sober” state, I am still finding myself sober.  I’m really not an outgoing person.  I feel like this has disappointed some people…maybe even myself.  It hurts to not know who you are at almost 34.

What people also don’t get is every day is just as hard as the first day I quit drinking.  Being surrounded by alcohol is hard.  It makes me want to drink.  I don’t, and I won’t, but the feeling doesn’t go away.  It’s not the fault of those around me, and I don’t want people to feel they have to change for me.  I’m the one who has to adapt.  Still, it just…
 It hurts.

So, okay, I’m crying as I type this.  I’ll just be honest.  I cried at the concert, though I think I hid it okay.  Watching her perform “Sober” live, when I finally was sober is one of those moments of my life I will never forget.  I’m not just a silly fan.  Her music really gets to me.  And as I stood there amongst the crowd, many of whom were far from sober, I felt really proud of myself in that moment.  I still can’t describe it.  

Maybe I never will.

She did “Family Portrait” next.  My eyes brimmed with tears once again.  Snapshots of P!nk’s childhood popped up and splashed across the stage as she poured her heart into belting out the song.  As she sang about her parents fighting while she grew up, I thought of how much Andy and I have been arguing lately…it hasn’t always been good.  It made me want to make a change.
Maybe these aren’t normal feelings to feel at a concert?  Maybe everyone else was merely singing along to songs they know by heart.  Nothing seems to affect me the same way it does the majority of people, though, and maybe this was no exception.
Like right now, maybe I’m crying because it’s similar to (and I’ll admit) my wedding night…and I cried then.  Because there was so much build-up to that one day…and it was also amazing.  

And then it was over.

I just feel misunderstood so often…I don’t even understand myself.  But P!nk’s music has always seemed to understand.  On a visceral level.  Seeing her live was a dream come true, and really hit me emotionally.  And I never thought I’d be so close to her…close enough to see the cute little moles that dot her perfectly sculpted abs!  It was insane.

I’d love to interview her.  I don’t know that I’ll ever be the level of writer who would get that chance, but a girl can dream.
In the meantime, I’ll always remember how spectacular she is live…words don’t do it justice.  Neither do pictures.  Neither does video.

Her acoustic versions of “Who Knew” and “Perfect,” were, in a word, perfect.  She said she was going to perform the “clean” version of “Perfect” because she could see all the daddies in the audience with their daughters, and she’s “soft” now.  That made my heart swell. I almost cried again.

Andy and I were going through something pretty trying this past summer, and “(Blow Me) One Last Kiss” was sort of our theme song at that point.  It was surreal to hear it live.  The same with “Just Give Me a Reason.”  Why does it seem like every song she sings lines up perfectly with what I’m going through in life?  It’s eerie.  And awesome.

She ended the concert with the Grammy performance she did a few years ago of “Glitter in the Air.”  When the lights went down and it was over, they showed clips of P!nk rehearsing at practice and hanging out with her husband and their daughter, Willow.  It made me miss Andy and the girls.  (And showed us that stars…they’re just like us!)  

As we were filing out of the concert, one of my friends pointed out that I had a little tiny gold star on my shoulder.  A piece of the glitter that was dropped from up above during “Glitter in the Air.”  
Seeing her was so cathartic for me.  It’s one of those nights that, it might sound strange, but it’s changed my life, for the better.  I can’t wait to see her again.  

Seeing her has made me want to set some goals for myself…like work harder on my marriage…continue with my sobriety…and of course, work on my abs. 

Thank you, P!nk.  xo

Random Ramblings

I have no motivation lately.  I’m not sure why.  I don’t feel like cleaning, and I need to.  Sometimes I can’t bring myself to do it, knowing that with the kids around, it’s messy again in ten seconds.  This new puppy we’ve been trying out is not exactly working…it’s been a major stressor here, along with the still flooding basement.  I think if we could fix those two things, my outlook would be different.

I’m still trying to find that perfect cocktail of medications that works for me, too…I know I’ve been down lately because of a lot of things, so maybe once some time has passed I’ll be better.  I’ve forever been searching for the perfect sleeping med…that’s something I’ve practically given up on. 

Maybe it’s the weather, but lately I can’t wait to crawl into bed.  In the morning I don’t want to crawl out, and every night it’s been getting earlier and earlier that I’m crawling into it.  I just feel like I’m stuck in a rut…and I’m not sure how to change it.

The most exciting part of my day is looking forward to bed…to my nighttime ritual of tea and reading, or maybe some TV.  At least then it’s an acceptable hour to be in bed.

I hope I break out of this rut soon…I don’t like it.  I’m just not sure how to do it…I look forward to my Monday night support group – the only people who understand.  If only I could get my family to understand more, I wouldn’t feel so guilty maybe.  I don’t know.  I so often wish I were “normal.”  Or that more people were open…that would help, too.

Maybe part of the reason I like winter is because more people seem to experience what I experience year-round.  Maybe I feel like I can relate to people better, and they can relate to me.  I don’t know.  Or maybe it’s just because I love snow.  Either way, I don’t get all pumped up about spring like almost every other single person does.  I could go without it, really.  I’ll always be a fall and winter girl.

I guess I should go and force myself to do some cleaning…or at least try.

About Me

I have an MA in literature from Eastern Michigan University and I write a couple of regular columns for The Delphos Herald. I am the mother of two young girls, and the wife of a firefighter. I am also bipolar (with generalized anxiety disorder) which somewhat accounts for my occupied mind. I rely on sarcasm the way others rely on oxygen.
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