Hand on My Back

It is late, almost 3:00 a.m. on Sunday morning.  I woke up at 1:30 a.m. with terrific nightmares, the sweats, and a pounding heart.  This happens anywhere between once per week, to three or four times per week.  Lately, the nightmares have been getting better.  Of course, they are still there, but they hadn’t been affecting me as much.

So far, I have been able to keep things pretty steady even in the face of the insurmountable nightmares, night terrors, whatever you want to call them.  There are certain things that tend to set me off, however, and there have been no shortage of these *things.”

Many of my dreams are nightmares within which it is the end of the world (quite literally), and I am running to save my life.  Running from being raped, being beaten, frantically searching for a person (usually my sister) or an animal (always Kizzie).  In most cases, my sister or Kizzie are also being beaten, raped, tortured.  I have been through plenty of nasty domestic violence, but these scenes from my sleeping brain are quite vivid.

The dreams share similarities of what I feel in real life, and here lately, with the attacks in Paris and a person in my inner circle who constantly talks about the end of the world (as we know it), I get more and more hyped up into these nightmares.  I have learned to tell the person in my inner circle to not talk about these things around me, but as the world turns, some people have very little filter, or at the very least, not much ability to slap the muzzle on themselves when it comes things they find so very *true.*

So while my body screams out to lay down, my contrary brain shoots messages that all is not well, things are not safe, staying awake (at this point) is necessary.  I have been dealing with this problem for most of my adult life, and even a bit into childhood and adolescence — the bad dreams.  They come and they go, wax and wane, intensify and fade.

At some point, I decide I am safe and release the death grip I have on the computer mouse, ease myself out of my computer chair, and lie down.  At this point in my life, I have LarBear, and I use him as a tool, and snuggle up to him and get extra kisses and fall asleep with his hand in the middle of my back, no doubt with him able to feel the steady thump-thump of my heart.

For every nastiness about Bipolar Disorder, PTSD, Anxiety, and the lot, there is a warm hand on my back, held out from the man I love more on this world than anything, and that, my friends, is something to be ever grateful for.  Nightmares come and go, true love doesn’t fade.

Weekend Summary, With a Purpose

Lucky for I-don’t-know-who, I have decided to take my somewhat frequent tendency to be unable to fall asleep, and use it as a tool.  So, instead of every night going to bed, being unable to fall asleep, and waking up and watching whatever randomness is on TV — I’m going to blog, for at least some of the times.

We had a pretty great weekend.  Friday, LarBear and I had dinner with QoB and her boyfriend, and I finished reading another book after we came home.

On Saturday, I went with my dad to help babysit my nephew, Oscar, while my sister and brother-in-law worked on the house they are fixing up.  I had the chance to see the huge guest room that they are converting (along with everything else…this was a total strip-it-gut-it-change-it job) where LarBear and I will be able to stay when we come visit.  It has huge windows, and it’s own bathroom and fireplace.  Oh!  And a balcony.  It is a super-cool and interesting old house, and they have done almost all the work themselves.  Very impressive, I think it would probably be called a mini-mansion.  🙂

Today, LarBear and I have been mostly relaxing and hanging out.  We slept in (which we never, ever do) and took a drive in the country to see the changing colors.  It seems that a lot of the leaves are already on the ground, but it was beautiful anyway and that is one of our favorite things to do together.  We finished up the evening with cheeseburgers for dinner, and LarBear watching football on the TV while I read on the Kindle.  It was really an altogether great day, and weekend.

Tomorrow, we are venturing about two hours east to visit LarBear’s grandpa, Mickey, and then we will swing through and see my sister and Oscar on our way back home.  It should be an interesting trip because we haven’t been to see Mickey in a couple months because he has been in and out of the hospital.  I am hoping that he will be home and we can have a good visit.  For LarBear’s sake, I’m fine with staying as long as he likes.

The reason I am blogging about things as mundane as what the weekend events were, is that I want to be able to look back and remember good times, calm times when my brain wasn’t fighting me, for the times when I do slip off the deep end.  Because at least I know, it’s not if, its a matter of when.  Sometimes once you have radically accepted that you are always going to live with your illness, it makes it easier to handle.  Or, it has for me, at least.

 

Transitioning

Over the last year, blogging and Internet activity in general have slowed to a near standstill for me.  I realized this not too long ago, when I was without a decent computer to use for about two weeks.  I barely checked my email, posted on Facebook maybe twice, didn’t even look at a blog post, and hardly noticed.  What I did notice, however, was that I have started to do quite a bit of sit-and-stare.  You know, the whole three-hours-pass-as-three-minutes sit-and-stare kind of thing.

And I thought…oh, that can’t be good.  So, most of the amped-up anxiety is gone, most of the days.  Instead, there is a very active LACK OF INTEREST in once-pleasurable activities.  I don’t necessarily feel  too depressed, but I am certainly hitting all the DSM markers of it.  I am taking boatloads of Seroquel, and also Topamax now, as a mood stabilizer and to counter the ridiculous hunger pains that Seroquel brings.

I can certainly say that Topomax has almost completely abolished hunger.  This would be a good thing, right?  Well, yes and no.  Its good, because I’m losing weight.  Its bad, because putting ANYTHING in my mouth, whether it be liquid or solid, nutritious or not, just sounds nasty.  That includes water, so I find myself quite dehydrated at the end of the day.  I have been sick on a few occasions since starting it, and I find I really have to be on top of things.

Immense stress and pressure here in the last week, with LarBear having serious physical health issues and a very ill grandfather, and me dealing with everyday randomness garbage and seasonal change to boot.  I feel like I am somewhat on top of things, but mostly because of the great support I am getting from my dad and QoB.  I am used to LarBear picking up a lot of slack, but he has really not been himself lately, and I am eager for us to put this little stretch behind us.

Of course there are always hopes that I will keep up better with blogging, and maybe I might, who knows.  I’m going to try, and am at least better set up for it now that I have a new monitor for my desktop.  Winter will be here soon and I won’t want to get out much (even less than the nonexistent now…ha!), so I am looking for some new routines.

So, yep, that’s my story…looking for new routines, looking to put this stretch behind me, looking, looking, looking…

Trying Harder

try harder

On August 28th of this year, LarBear and I had officially been together for eight months.  Eight months, during which for the most part, I had been batshit crazy.  I have pushed him away, yelled at him for no good reason, cried and cried, and been altogether terrified because it does seem that he really does love me in spite of it all.

What does that say about me, and romantic relationships I have had up to this point, that I have such difficulty in accepting love, in accepting that someone wants to understand, wants to care, wants to spend time with me, wants to go out of their way to make me feel better?

LarBear has put up with a lot, and after my last episode-fueled temper tantrum, I had a bit of an epiphany.  THIS is what I have been looking for my whole life, but believing I would never find.  This completely unconditional and true and pure love.  He keeps trying to hand it to me, to give it to me, and I keep batting it from his hands.

And he remains patient, kind, loving.  Through it all, through which nearly any other person I know, other than perhaps my mother, would have given up.  He is invested in this relationship, and he has proven it over and over again.  My tendency is to run, run, run, but I think those days must be over.

It is time that I embrace this beautiful love that is being given to me over and over again, despite my craziness and my flaws and my constant tears.  It’s time for me to stop trying to run away anytime, and to simply enjoy the great love that surrounds me.  Its hard, to be loved.  Its really hard…harder than I ever would have imagined it could be.

But I’m going to try.  My feet are planted and there is an amazing person who tells me and shows me every day that he loves me very much.  Time to stop struggling so hard, and just enjoy and love back.  I really don’t think this sort of thing comes along all that often, and believe I would be remiss in not accepting.

Through all the fog and blur of medications and appointments and symptoms and episodes and cycles, he is there, standing strong.  I really couldn’t ask for anything better, and I only knock myself upside the head slightly when I realize it has taken me so long to realize the enormity of love that is there, in his heart, in my heart, in our home.

 

 

#reverb14 Day Three: How to Love an Imperfect Life

Reverb BB (2)

It’s all too easy to put off loving where we are until everything is perfect.

What can you love about where you are now?

I would like to add that it is all to easy to put off LIVING in the space we were meant to be if things are not ideal.  We may have a hard time fulfilling our desires of ABC because XYZ is not going well.

There is something in life that I personally must accept and reevaluate and remind myself of every day — everything is not ever going to be perfect ALL AT ONE TIME.  This has been so true for me as of late.  When my (non-existent) romantic life was going perfectly (in that it was not existing ever-so-quietly and I was very happy with being single), I was not able to fully appreciate it because there was stress and imperfection and strife in other areas.

Something Goddess of Mindfulness has been saying for years — “this (XYZ) is not just a bipolar thing, it’s a HUMAN thing.”. As in, my reaction to a certain stressors is not because of my history with trauma or because I am bipolar — it is an average human reaction.  It is important to find these and sort through them, because failing perfection means failing to truly love where we are in the moment and guess what, Rosa… not a bipolar thing, when I had always thought that the case.

So what can I love about where I am now?  I have the strongest relationship with my mother, my dad, and my sister than I have ever in my life.  There was a lot of pulling together that came from the stress of the past few months.

I can accept that I am not “perfect” and still love where I am, who I am, because the people I care most about have made it so very clear that I am not broken, something to be fixed.  That I am human and deserve love and attention and empathy and support and assistance.  After building our relationship up very carefully over time, I honestly love that I feel as if I can call my sister up anytime, whether I am doing well or am in crisis, and that she will be there to listen and problem-solve with me.

And its the same with my dad.  We have painstakingly worked on our relationship, and while it isn’t perfect, I still love it, still treasure it, sometimes revel in awe of it.  And Mom — we’ve always been close but I feel like I have been able to be there a bit for her like she has been for me for so many years.  Not in the same way, but I can be supportive…I have that capacity now and it is nice that I, at times, feel like I am able to encourage her as she has encouraged me for my whole life.

So yes, family and family relationships are what I think of for this prompt.  Many areas of my life are imperfect in some way, even flawed and miserable.  What keeps me loving where I am at are those three beautiful people.  Even without this so-called perfection, my family makes my life sparkle and shine even in the spots that are dark and cobwebbed.

I Will Always Be Rosa

I feel like I have a lot to do right now.  I am working more, now that is just QoB and The Rock and myself.  That’s ok though, I’m good with that.  I think before I had too much free time and I used that free time in negative ways.  We are looking at doing something flexible at least  until Spring.  The schedule has never been so laid-back.  Hell, the store has never been so laid-back.  I am hoping we are going to be just fine.

I made myself the biggest ta-do list today at work.  I have several doctors appointments and tests I need to set up and get written down on my calendar because well, I have missed several lately.  I don’t know when it happened that I became unable to remember small things, like a date and time, from the time at the doctor’s office until I was home 20 minutes later.  Probably the meds frying my brain, a little more each day as time goes on.

Seems like  things might be speeding up now, but I probably couldn’t get QoB or the Big Dawg to see it.  But that’s ok, because everyone, from the parents to the kids and out to the friends — everyone is processing this their own way.  I am still feeling very angry and anxious, and that encapsulates more than just my parents breaking up.

That is the whole big-picture-enchilada.  I am angry with so-called friends and with people who slap a label on my forehead and deem me somewhat less significant.  Of course, I whined about this previously in “Because That Phrase Doesn’t Work”, so if one didn’t get enough of it in this post, there is more to be found.  About how some people suck and treat you differently because you have bipolar disorder and about how you have lost all your friends.

And as stated before, there are some people that I am done.done.done with, some situations that will not ever change, and I am just worn out on trying to make certain things better, when it would require the consent and action of another human being who listens to nothing and no one, has no respect.

I truly thought I would wake up today and feel differently about aforementioned subjects.  I don’t.  I’m still mad as hell.  I’m still cutting people out of my life.  I am still mourning the fact that all my so-called friends turned out to not even be as steady in my life as an acquaintance.  I would never daresay “life isn’t fair” because, well NO SHIT!  I would not call myself brave or courageous because I have persevered through some hard stuff — did I really have a choice in the matter?  Try or die.  What a choice, right?  And I am glad I chose life every time.

And no matter how hard things are, how elusive the answers seem to be, I will always, always, always be just me, just Rosa.

beauty begins

 


 

I went back and read this post after publishing and I am sorely wanting to take it down.  It just looks ugly and disjointed to me, and I’m not sure I got across what I was going to say.  I think I will leave it up, though, because I am sure I could do a lot worse, and I really need to get this stuff out there, even if I am repeating myself.  Responses to comments tomorrow!  I have the time scheduled in!  🙂

The Not-So-Exciting Tales of Rosa

I made a commitment to blog more regularly and it has been one big FAIL.  I attribute it to many things, including the fact that my give-a-shitter is broken, I don’t feel I can blog about a lot of what is going on in my life right now, and because everything I pour out seems to be pure drivel.

I’ve decided to stop caring about all of that, and just blog.  Duh, I should have decided this a long time ago, but it’s always a process for me.  Now, that doesn’t mean I’m going to start airing all my dirty laundry, it just means that posts will be more frequent, as well as a bit more random.  If I get a great idea for a  post (which hasn’t happened in weeks), I’ll really take my time and develop it.  Otherwise, I’ll just be writing about day-to-day life for now.

I quit smoking three weeks, five days, 17 hours, 58 minutes and 11 seconds ago. 1604 cigarettes not smoked, saving $216.66. Life saved: 5 days, 13 hours, 40 minutes.

Those stats are getting impressive.  Not so much the time stat, but over $200 saved, over 1600 cigs not smoked?  Holy shit!  You sometimes don’t realize how severe your addiction is until you’re not coughing much, you’re not short of breath anymore, and you see the cold numbers.

Quitting smoking hasn’t been easy as of late.  Yesterday, I had to ask Mom to pull all the money off my debit card, because it was too tempting to go buy a pack of cigarettes.  Now, if I went off and smoked a pack of cigarettes, I am sure I would be sick, but my anxiety level has been through the roof and I was completely convinced that smoking a cigarette would fix everything.  Well, reason and logic told me it just wouldn’t.  SOOOO, I am still smoke-free.  Thank God, because that was a close one.

I am having some motivation problems (ok, severe motivation problems), related to above-stated anxiety, some mild depression, big feelings of being overwhelmed.  I haven’t kept up on my housework as I should and I let what started out as a couple of mice under my sink turn into a much bigger problem.

The Big Dawg came over yesterday and gave me a kind lecture, all the while reassuring me it would be ok if I just followed a certain set of steps.  So, I’m committed to doing just that and I am committed to getting a big chunk of the work done before I ask Mom to come over and help.  That is what he suggested, and I think he is right.  You can’t leave your own messes for someone else to clean up.

And I am motivated.  I want to be able to have people over to my house again, for people to feel comfortable here.  Along with cleaning for mice, I will be cleaning for smoke residue, which should make things much more pleasant in general.  I have all the supplies I need, and am going to work at finding more time over the next four days (my four work-days), even though I have unfortunately scheduled a social event for nearly every evening.

Speaking of which, why in the eff do I do that?  Well, I mean, I know why.  I am painfully, hopelessly lonely.  As Mom says, there was someone always around (DSB) for over two years, and I got used to that, and now it is hit or miss if I will be able to find someone to talk to.  And as bad as it sounds, as terrible as DSB and my relationship was at times, there were good parts.

We had coffee together in the mornings, watched our favorite shows and ate dinner together at night.  For periods of our relationship, we talked about everything under the sun and could sit and visit for hours on end.  I also had a sense of safety and security, with DSB and Rascal at home.  I didn’t w0rry about my house being broken into or getting stranded by the side of the road or coming home in the dark.

There was someone to drive me places (because I have come to the point that I hate to drive) and someone to tell me (at all  hours of the day and night) that everything was going to be ok, that I was ok, that what I did or said was ok.  To give me advice.  To, for a time in our relationship, love me unconditionally.

I miss that and I work very hard every day at pushing through that.  I don’t talk about it with hardly anyone, just one friend and I think I may have mentioned it to Goddess of Mindfulness and my mom.  And I didn’t get into details with my dad the other day, when he asked me if I was lonely…I just cried and cried.

Sometimes I feel like no one understands or wants to understand.  Other times I feel very understood.  The times after it gets dark are the worst, but the day can be just as bad if I don’t have anything going on.  I just feel like I keep desperately reaching out and I am only burdening and annoying people.