My Little Friend, Cocaine

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I don’t know why but I’ve been doing cocaine again. I had the hardest time quitting fifteen years ago. I didn’t touch it for about five years. Then I did it three times over a period of a couple weeks. On the third time, I saw some ugliness in the people I was with. I stopped doing coke again.

I didn’t touch it for almost a decade after that. And now, for the past year or so, I’ve been trying to keep it under control. But I can never keep it under control. I’m an addict. There is no controlling something that takes over your mind.

People have scoffed at me when I say I can’t control myself. But they’ve never been inside my head. It’s like an annoying little kid that won’t shut up on a long, never ending car ride. Do we have coke yet? Did we get it? Is it coming? Is it here? How about now? Now? Is it here now?

I have to stop completely. It’s all or nothing for me. I don’t know anywhere in between. I bought two small bags this time. My intent was to save one bag for another day as opposed to dumping it all out in one big pile. I finished the first bag and cut right into the second one. I did all of it tonight.

Being bipolar, it makes me feel so good when I’ve been just feeling flat. Or even depressed. It does cure depression. During a very dark time for me I did some cocaine, well, a lot of cocaine, and my depression was gone. Seriously. Maybe talk with your health care practitioner first before hitting up your neighborhood dealer, but it worked for me.

I know how to quit. First, you just don’t do it. Then you find new hobbies to replace the addiction. I know exercise is extremely helpful. I know meditation is even better. I know these things. I just like the coke too much.

But I’m getting older. And I haven’t taken the best care of my body over the years. I’ve been worried about my heart with the cocaine. Sometimes I like to do so much coke I can’t see straight anymore.

A few weeks back, I thought I was having a heart attack. Stabbing pains and then this crushing feeling like someone was sitting on top of my chest. I went to the ER. It wasn’t a heart attack. I got diagnosed with chest wall pain. Whatever that is.

I’m pretty sure it was an anxiety attack. I’ve never had one before but I’ve felt similar crushing sensations since. The most intense one I had was walking away from a conversation with my boss. Like someone was on top of me again. That’s what sealed the deal for me that it must be anxiety.

I have been messing up my meds. Damnit. I just realized I missed the night one again. It fucks with me. More than I’d like. I thought about stopping them. Well, tapering off. You don’t just stop these kinds of meds unless you’re a masochist. It’s torture. Debilitating. Not an option for me. Tried it once. Never again.

If I could just stop buying more cocaine, take my meds as prescribed, and find a new hobby, I’d be just fine. It’s not rocket science but damn is it elusive to me. But with each breath we take, we get another chance. Each thought we have, we get another opportunity to catch it. Redirect it. Optimize it.

There are tools out there to help. I could set an alarm on my phone to take my meds. I could use my little weekly pill box. I could even get wild and start taking all the supplements my body needs right alongside with my meds. Ok, ok, that’s pushing it. But it would be helpful.

That’s what life is all about. The right tools for the job. Knowing what to use and when. I’ve quit before. I can do it again. I just need to brush off my tool belt.

Trying to Date

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I’ve decided to try and date. I’ve never been very good at it. My last boyfriend was the guy who came to repair my airstream. I don’t get out much.

So I set up a match.com account. I loaded some pictures, what few there are of me out there in the world, being a hermit and all. I wrote up a little bio, answered some questions and hit publish. And now I’m out there. Dating.

It’s been two days and it’s making me crazy. Maybe because I just set up my account the site put me in front of a bunch of guys. I thought I was so popular! So many likes! Emails! I was blowing up! 87 likes right off the bat!

And now? Now I feel like I’m trolling through the dirty, stinky, swamp of men, spying on them creeper status. Trying to “like” the ones that look somewhat normal. I even sent a few emails out. No one is “liking” me, except very old men or portly fellows. Neither of which I’m interested in.

I loaded more pictures. I edited my bio. I answered more questions. I do have two dates on the books so that’s good since it’s only been about 36 hours. I’ve been checking my account constantly and it’s almost 5 in the morning. I need to keep all this in perspective.

I have no idea what my first date will be like. I’m going to think of it like pancakes. You usually have to toss the first one. I didn’t notice that date numero uno wants kids. I don’t, really. Sometimes I do when I panic about being too old to have any. And then I think about what a train wreck I am, how could I ever take care of a baby?

Ok. My first date is just coffee. But eesh, it’s going to feel like a job interview. Maybe I should drink some tequila before I go. I thought about canceling because of the baby thing but pancakes. Just need to remember pancakes. And he’s a super cute lawyer. Supposedly.

Match.com rates you somehow with some magic algorithm. I have a 100% match. Haven’t seen anyone else higher than a 95%. So 100% and I are chatting and he asks me to tell him a story from my past.

My palms start sweating. My eyes start darting frantically around. A story? From my past? All of my stories involve debauchery and shenanigans. What the hell would I tell him that won’t send him running?

So I tell him about hitchhiking from Flagstaff to Reno. No drugs involved in that. Then I tell him about moving out west all by myself at 17 and how I locked my keys in the car in downtown St. Louis, at midnight. And then I wrote, and deleted, and wrote about having bipolar.

I thought it might help explain some of the crazy stories I just told. And I’m trying to be more open about it. Come out of the closet more about having bipolar. Help put a face to an illness.

I had an old friend I hadn’t seen in years that I was texting with. He always had a crush on me and we were just texting, catching up. We lived in different states now. One day during our text conversation I tell him that I had bipolar. He never wrote back. Nothing. Like he got hit by a bus or something. Gone. I didn’t write back either. It hurt.

I thought I’d tell 100% just to be honest, up front. I told him that maybe it’s because I should be asleep but I felt like sharing. He said it probably wasn’t easy for me to share that. He said we should both go to sleep. I said good night. He wrote me back a few minutes later asking what color my hair is. Was it blonde? Or was it brown? Or was it red? His profile showed “online” for quite a bit longer. He wasn’t that cute anyways. I just figured since he was a 100% match, I should give it a try.

I’m learning. I can’t check my account constantly. This is the old addict in me. I just checked it. One guy, a little too young for me and works in the oil fields wrote me an email. I’ll need to come up with some guidelines around my use of this “tool”. Like only checking a few times a day.

No trolling creeper status. I like guys approaching me. I don’t like to be the one that makes the first contact.

I guess I’m old fashioned. But I also don’t want to seem desperate. Writing my emails tonight and waiting with baited breath for a response does not resonate well with me. One guy I emailed is “online” now. He surely got my email. He didn’t write back.

I’m going to have to toughen up. Get thicker skin. And I need to remember that this should be, or could be, fun. It’s all up to me how I react.

Give it time. Let it be. What will be, will be. I’ll be right back. I’m going to check my account.

Stumbling along

Blogville. It’s been too long. I’m sorry I’ve been elusive. Well, actually, I haven’t just been elusive. I’ve been a hermit.

But I’m trying to put myself out there more. I know that what I’ve learned from my struggles will lighten the burden for others. I need to share my story.

What about you? You might think you don’t have a story to tell but we’ve all been through some shit. We’ve all learned from mistakes we’ve made. Even if we made them a million times first before we saw the light. We all have learned a lesson somewhere along our path.

By sharing our stories, we make space for other people to grow even more. To side step the obstacle that knocked us down and evolve even more. And we need to learn from others too. We don’t need to stumble all over the place. And speaking for myself, I really need to start learning from my own mistakes.

I wonder why we have the hardest time with that? Why we forget the pain and challenges we went through and go down the same path again. Only to feel the same pain and crash into the same challenges, over and over again.

I’ve been working on writing my story for about 12 years now. Maybe 13. I’ve been reading it over time and time again, making little edits. Wanting it to be perfect. But my story shines a giant spotlight on the fact that I’ve had the same struggles for decades now. Decades. What will it take for me to evolve too?Monsoon puddles

 

 

 

Guess who’s back?

better luina on ledgeOh Blogville, how I’ve missed you. I can’t believe how long it’s been. I’d apologize if I felt sorry. But I know I told you I’d disappear. I’m sure I did. It’s the nature of my illness.

I was dark but now I feel better. I’m back on the meds. I got tired of being tired. I am trying to live inspired. I get thru work and there’s nothing left of me. I’ve always felt that way. Nothing left in me after work.

My doctor told me the other day that if you let yourself only get to, for example, a six on the one to ten happiness scale for an extended period, certain parts of your brain shrivel away and die. Happiness parts.

I’m so glad I’m back on the meds. I need my happiness parts. It got so dark. I got so tired. Happiness is the light.

I’ve always wished for happiness, anytime you could wish. Shooting stars, birthday candles, wishing wells, always happiness. That was it. I guess I never realized how depressed I’ve spent my life.

I’ve felt grateful and happy for the past couple years. I really have, besides the times I’ve wanted to kill myself. And now, now that I’ve found some level of happiness? Now what? Now what do I work on?

I know I can always work on myself and my bipolar condition. Till the day I die. But aren’t we all looking for the quick fix? What will make me feel better NOW? Right this fucking moment?

A deep breath. Followed by another one. One more where your belly expands to the fullest extent and then exhale all the stale air out of your body in a slow, constant flow out. That always makes me feel better.

Our brains have a plasticity we are only just scratching the surface of understanding. Brain illnesses deserve respect and compassion, not fear and misconceptions. When we can live without shame and guilt for a condition we were born with and receive the medical attention our illness requires to be productive citizens, our world will be transformed.

Transformation begins with right thought. Right thought leads to right action. Right action leads to right habits. Right habits lead to a life you will be proud of when you let out that last dying breath.

Talk about mental illness with those around you to add this thought to others brain waves. Speak about what we can do to make change. I am a turtle crawling out of my shell, I do not know the way.

But you, you Blogville. You know the way. Lead the way. Tell us what you think the best one thing we can do to advance the cause for mental illness advocacy today, right now. For me, I’m going to go join NAMI. I’ve missed you blogville and am so grateful to have you back in my life.

Bipolar Perfect Storm

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I’m coming down from my first mania bout in quite some time. I was really nervous but I think everything is going to be just fine. I didn’t get fired. I didn’t decide to move to Alaska. I didn’t have any inappropriate sexual relations.

I guess I’m not all the way even steven…and I know I have to go as low as I went high so even steven is even further away from my reality…but soon. Being quite some time since my last mania episode, I was curious what caused it and started looking for answers.

I have a variety of apps for my iPhone, like most people with smart phones, I’d imagine.   One of said apps is my “Hormone Horoscope”. As a woman, I can’t imagine living without it. You say when you had your last period and it tells you about what you can expect from yourself emotion wise. With the rising and dropping of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone (yeah, we make that stuff too!), our emotions are impacted. This handy app let’s you know what your in store for.

I read mine almost every day and all this week, week 2, I swear their describing mania. Textbook. Watch your wallet, you want to explore new things, you have great ideas, coming to every woman on week 2 of their cycle. Years I’ve been reading this fucking thing, and the horoscopes are EXACTLY the same. Day 1 always says the same thing, and so on. Why I never caught that week 2 is mania week, I don’t know.

But for everyone out there, let it be known, week 2…is mania week.

Another app I have is “Biorhythms”. I’ve had this for years as well. I believe you just enter your birthdate and maybe some other data and it rates where you are on the physical, emotional and intellectual points of the pendulum of life. Just like most things in the universe, it travels along a wave, going up and then going down and then up and then down…you get the picture. The top is 100% and the bottom is (-100%).

The lines move at varying pitches, which enable one to be all the way up, one to be all the way down and one to be passing through the middle. Sometimes they cross paths but every once in a while they line up almost perfect or even dead on perfect traveling the same path together.

Right now all 3 lines are moving very close together for me and I’ve got a 97%, 97% and 66% all heading up still. Almost maxed out on 2 fronts and growing in another. This won’t happen again until December and then not again till this same time of year 2016.

I charted my Biorhythms one manic day back when I first discovered this tool. Created a sort of algorithm to link a score to each and every day for a year out. I tried to tell my clients that on days like these ones, my time was worth more, and so they had to pay me more. And other days, when it was real low, I was a bargain. I did tell them that I might be too depressed to come to work on days when I’m (-100%) across the board and that they should probably come take away sharp objects. They didn’t want to have anything to do with my algorithms but damn, looking at where I’m at and knowing how I feel…I think it might be time to map out a new forecast!

Maybe it didn’t have anything to do with any of these things. Maybe I just got manic because I’m bipolar. But sometimes I like to pretend there’s nothing wrong with me. That sanity is my normal state. Even if it’s just for a couple moments.

xoxo

B. Wright

Pump the Brakes a Little, ehh?

car brake system

Being manic starts to piss off everyone around you. They start to say things like, “oookaaayyyy…” as they try desperately to digest your most recent genius idea because something in it actually sounded viable with a bunch of nonsense smeared around it. You can’t blame them; you get pretty hard to follow. From one thing to the next, like fast forwarding through a fun house…weeeeeeeee, barf.

You have to speak the same speed as everyone else. Listen intently on the speed and match this. It’s harder than you think; the way ideas come out effortlessly when you speak.

It’s all about the sleep. Has to stay the same or else you end up a little cuckoo kachoo. Funny, just when you aren’t tired AT ALL, you need to go to bed. But Maaaa, I ain’t tired! Like right now, I should be napping cause I’m working a split shift and have to go back in here shortly butttt…I couldn’t fall asleep.

You need to find activities that slow you down and keep a list of these activities that work like brakes. Me? I like to paint.   My breathing becomes instantly this deep, rhythmic and oh so healing pace. My head stops swirling. My focus is intently on the stroke, the paint, the creation. Fully in the moment. No where else but right here.

I’ve always felt mania is my divine connection time. I’ve produced and created some of the most amazing things. A thing that when I’m depressed and look at, I can’t believe I was ever capable of making such a glorious creation. I could solve world hunger if I let myself go that far. But, let’s be realistic here, I’d probably end up in the hospital before I actually got it solved.

I must admit, I’m a bit afraid being manic myself right now. I think this is the first time since I’ve been off my meds that I’ve been going for a couple of days. I see it in the faces around me. Eyes just a little wider, kind of leaning back like you might flip and attack them so better get just a littlllle bit more distance from you.

Sometimes I get spikes in my mood but then I sleep a long time and go back to normal. I’ve been so even keeled it’s hard to digest this. I’m doing really well in my job right now, on my second promotion in a little over 2 years. I’ve lived in the same state for almost 6 years now. For the past 18 years I averaged 8 months in a town before I found this place. I haven’t had an episode in a couple years.

Sleep. Sleep some more. Breath deep. Life will go on.

Have to go work now,

Love You Blogville,

xoxo

B. Wright

Hey Blogville!

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Blogville, let me start out by sincerely apologizing for my absence. Although, I can almost guarantee somewhere back years ago I said I would disapeer now and again. I didn’t think it would be quite this long and so for that, I do sincerely apologize. Good. Now we can move on.

How the hell are you?! It’s been sooo long! I slipped into this mild depression, like a low hanging cloud all around you, and became even more isolated than I already was. But now I have you again. Oh dear Blogville, how I’ve missed you.

I must confess. You are my therapy. I love the idea of my words helping others the world over. I put them out of my head and thru my finger tips onto this device and out into the interweb and thru this web they spread. I love this concept but the reason I blog is for my own sanity…or pursuit of.

I’ve been off my meds now for about a year and four months. Smoking pot off and on. Doing good for the most part but must have come across some uppity pot, I had a mixed bag last time, and lately I’ve been a little manic. The ideas, the genius ideas. But I speak too fast and you can see it in people’s eyes the way they look at you. I scare them.

So I popped a bottle of my favorite Rioja I keep on hand and am sipping it out of my small blue camping mug. Drinking will slow me down. It makes me hungover and so not as quick in my actions. Getting drunk and blacking out was how I managed mania in the past. I’d wake up hungover and the sea’s would be a lot calmer inside. Only worried about drinking water and eating tons of food. Draw back was when I’d just keep going at it. But those days are long gone. A while since I’ve been drunk.

In my blog part 2, my objective is to make my posts shorter. I have so much to say and I need to learn to wrap it up. Again, so glad to have you again and I’ve set up a desk with a great view so I plan on visiting so much more. Thank you for all that you do. Spread joy and positive energy. The world is such a magical place. Tap into that and see the limitless potential for all sentient beings.

xoxo

B. Wright