The Year I Give Up

So far, 2018 sucks a sewage pipe.

First, work sucks for new and different reason than usual.
One of my office girls walked off the job, which was bad enough because the other was set to go on maternity leave at the end of January, but then the pregnant gal had her baby a month early. She’s fine, and it’s a lovely baby (named Ainsley), but that means I have NO billers and we’re in year-end. So, my boss and I had to do bill out, and salesman’s pay, and everything else, plus our own jobs… and we’re still not done. So… that’s been bullshit.

Second, until today, I was suffering from severe food poisoning. (It’s actually norovirus, I will later find out after googling it when Mothership contracts it later this month.) I dunno where it came from, but it was incredibly painful, and gave me vertigo, and it got so bad when we were working on Sunday in a mad-dash to try and get the fucking year billed out, that I nearly passed out. I had to very quickly get on the floor of the fucking bathroom at work. Fortunately, it hadn’t seen much use since we’re closed Sundays, but I did realize that the last place I want my mother/boss to find my dead body is on the bathroom floor at work.

ALSO, I emailed my new doctor at Kaiser, who I’ve never actually gone to see, and asked her about medication for severe stomach cramps that I’ve been getting since I was a kid, because I have IBS. She said no to my dicyclomine script, even though there’s absolutely nothing recreational I can do with it, and stated that since Kaiser didn’t make the diagnosis I could come in for testing. I’m not fucking going in for testing when I already have an EXCLUSIONARY diagnosis from two other doctors I saw for YEARS. So, instead of giving me my dicyclomine, she recommended the FODMAP diet for IBS, since I’m being a stubborn bitch about it.

Here’s what you need to know about the FODMAP diet… I’m not fucking doing it.

Why?

No onion. No garlic. No tea. No ripe bananas. No black beans. No black eyed peas. No beans at all, really. No cauliflower. No celery longer than 5cm, which is not enough celery to diet on. Nothing fermented. No mixed vegetables. No mushrooms. No peas. Nothing pickled. No apples. No apricots. No black berries. No cherries. No mangos. No nectarines. No peaches. No pears. No dried fruits. No pomegranate. No watermelon. No wheat. No gluten. No almond meal, either. Or amaranth flour. Or barley flour. Or bran cereals. Nothing normal people would consider bread. No cashews. No rye. No baked goods. No cous cous. No gnocchi. No granola. No agave. No gravy. No honey. No jam. Nothing with high fructose corn syrup. No corn products at all. No pesto. No relish. no stock cubes. No sugar free sweets. No artificial sweeteners. No tahini. No tzatziki. No more than one beer a day. No coconut water. No fruit juice. No kombucha, not that I’d drink that stuff anyways. No rum. No soda. No soy. No more than one glass of wine a day. No whey protein. No dairy. No carob powder, either… whatever that is.

The first three offend me most. I can’t imagine a life sans onion, garlic, and tea.

On top of that, all the fruit and veg I eat is supposed to be organic, which I can’t afford. Also like half the fruit and veg listed are things I’ve never heard of, such as callaloo, marrow, swede, and whatever the fuck a bilberry is.

The meat preferred is fish and seafood… and I live in Colorado, so I can’t afford that, either. For some reason I can have deli meats, which seems suspect AF, and MOTHERFUCKING KANGAROO IS LISTED AS MEAT I’M ALLOWED TO EAT. Really? Kangaroo? I’m not an Aussie expert, but I’m unsure that people in the AU are eating enough Kangaroo that it needs to be listed next to turkey on this list.

I can have espresso, too. Now, I hate to break it to a doctor who spent a lot of time and money learning to be a doctor, but if I ingest espresso, my ass is going to explode within 6 minutes afterward… and it’s gonna hurt… for like… two hours. Also, I have no idea what Kvass is, but unless it tastes like my darling Earl Grey Tea, it’s not an acceptable substitute to one of my precious drinking staples.

This diet won’t work for me for the same reason I can’t be a vegan: you have to make too much of the food yourself, or you’re going to be eating a lot of watercress.

It’s not like I thought 2018 was going to be MY year… I thought maybe 2017 might be, but it wasn’t. I just didn’t think that on day three I’d having imaginary conversations with shrinks about how if I killed myself it would be good for my mom AND me, because she only sticks around for me, and we are both miserable.

It doesn’t help that other people seem to be having a better time… Lindz is engaged and her fiancé bought her a a new car. Lovely 05 Subaru with purple rims. Mel is preggers. Bird is dating Dom for the umpteenth time in her life, but is planning on law school in the summer. D1 is dating a nice rabbi and has a badass job that earns him insane amounts of money. Billie just celebrated her 1st marriage anniversary.

The short list of good things happening for me is that this evening I upgraded my internet speed while also reducing how much I pay for internet… and my mom ordered me an exercise bike (because I’m fatter than I’ve ever been in my motherfucking life).

So I fucking give up.

Fine, doc, I’ll give up foods… but not onion, garlic, or tea. I give up on internet dating, and won’t do it this year. I give up on having a social life, because I don’t have time anyway, and mostly don’t even want to leave the house. I give up on my dream to make money via my art, cuz no one wants it. I give up most of my hobbies, because they’re just offshoots of the stupid art idea. I give up trying to make this house nice. I give up on trying to keep in touch with people. I give up Coca Cola… that’s a big one.

I just give up on trying to be happy anymore.

I try and I try, and maybe it’s because I’m an unmedicated bipolar, maybe it’s because I’m a god damn fat ass, maybe it’s because I’m too close to my mom, or because I’m a pet hoarder, or because I’m just an unmotivated waste of potential… but every time I try to be positive and do things I just get shot down. I not to let things bother me, but the things pile up until I’m drowning in them. I try to do things that make me happy and just end up realizing that nothing makes me happy anymore.

I’ve tried to drag myself out of my depression by the metaphorical hair, kicking and screaming… and all that’s happened is that I’m back in the fucking blue, drowning on my own sadness. So fine, self. You win. Life is terrible, and not worth living…

And that’s why we’re starting this year back at “I will live until my mother and my pets die… and then I’m probably just going to kill myself.”

Don’t worry… even my oldest pet is in good health, and mom will keep kicking as long as she can for fear of leaving me alone with no husband or reliable friend to take care of me… and I really shouldn’t feel so much despair about that.

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Dresses

Oh look. Pictures of me being depressed.

I have developed this habit of buying clothes ONLY for work, so I have nothing to wear when I go out anymore. That doesn’t sound like it would be a really real problem, but it is. You never consider how much what you wear reveals about yourself. My wardrobe being catered exclusively around work and nothing being something that I’d wear to a social event really shows how much I’ve forsaken social life. (Imma totally derail now… enjoy or skip down to ANYWAYS…)

I try to be social, but it ends up so disappointing.

For example, this past Friday I tried to hook up with Bird. She’d had a terrifying experience on the highway and wanted to go out and celebrate being alive… She turned down all my suggestions for actual fun things to do, and we ended up just getting a drink at a bar we don’t go to much “for something different.” I suggested everything from a local goth night, to crashing a senior citizen prom, to just trying a new venue with some different kind of music… but as much as she says she’d like to do more than the rest of our friends, who LIVE at karaoke and do literally nothing else, she doesn’t really want to try anything new either. On top of that, I tried to plan for her being late, because she’s always fucking late, and I was still there for about an hour alone before she showed up. So… all together I call the night a bust. We didn’t even really have anything to talk about since neither of us seem to do much at this point. I think we are both horrifically depressed… and depressed people do not lift each other up, but rather we drag each other down.

I was supposed to go to a birthday party Saturday night, but hurt my back doing yard work and backed out. I made sure to make it to a move with Bird on Sunday morning. She wanted to see Annabelle: Creation, and I was down. SO… I get her to confirm movie time and location, but just as I’m leaving my house she’s like…

“Are we still doing this?”
“Unless you suddenly changed your mind.”
“No, I’m just double-checking.”

::15 mins goes by and I’m outside the theater::

“But what about your back?”
“It hurts but all we’re going to do is sit.”
“Okay.”

And then she showed up like 20 mins later, right when the movie was starting.

I try really hard not to take shit personally, but if you wanna bail, just fucking bail. I hate people who vacillate way more than people who bail. At least I know when someone bails that I suddenly have free time. It’s still a little inconvenient, but at least it’s definitive so I can plan something else. Toss always being late into that mix and I’m just a weird mixture of hurt and angry that you’re wasting my time.

I was trying to wait for her in the parking lot, but I ended up just telling her where I was sitting and going into the theater because I stopped caring if she even showed up. I was there. I was irritable. I was seeing the movie with or without her… just cuz I was there.

I love Bird to death. She’s a great person, and I know she’s got her own shit she’s dealing with, but I just hate trying to do stuff with her. I just end up feeling bad because she vacillates on plans and then shows up late. So me, miss prompt-and-requiring-validation, feels like I’m not worth hammering down plans with, and that she’s not valuing my time… and she’s not valuing my time… and I find that mean… and the fact she’s one of two friends I legit see regularly really just compounds how meaningless I perceive that I must be to her, whether it’s true or not.

ANYWAYS I BOUGHT SOME DRESSES. I was going to go to Torrid on my way home from work one night this week, but got a better deal online and picked up six dresses there… and then I got three from Maurice’s that are plainer and cheaper, but still nice looking. I tried really hard to pick things I could, and WOULD, wear somewhere that isn’t work. I tried to throw some actual personality into it. It’s hard… because I don’t even know what I’d like to wear anymore…

I just use clothes to cover this terrible body I have, and that’s not fashion. I’m not expressing myself; I’m just hiding something I refuse to embrace. It contributes to my bad feels… I would really like to like myself again. I did for a while there, and it was great. I dunno what’s changed now… but I don’t like not liking myself.

So… gonna work on that, I guess.

Getting Dragged Down

So I’m Bipolar. Amongst other things.
Let’s start there.

You may have heard the phrase “trigger” being thrown around the internet by people. Usually, and I don’t care who hates me for saying it, this term is used when someone says something that offends another person on the internet, or brings up something that reminds someone of something they’re trying to forget. It’s kind of a bullshit term for, “I can’t handle this, but I don’t have the common sense to get the fuck off the computer.”

As a person with mental illness, well out of my teen years, I’m not really into that scene. If you say trigger to me, I stop talking to you. I can’t even deal with your bullshit. I have my own, and I don’t run around trying to tell people not to say or do things just because they make me feel like I’m full of worms and decayed flesh. That’s not real life. Real life is a word stabbing pain into your gut like a knife, and you swallowing hard before plastering a smile across your face anyways as people laugh at something that brings you excruciating pain. Real life is getting up and dragging your ass out of bed even though your whole being is begging you to just lie there in bed until you die. Real life is feeling your world crashing down around you, and still just going about your life like any other person. Real life is going home and drowning your pain in some vice of your choice, and still getting up the next day like it never happened. That’s life.

When I say trigger. I mean a trigger. I mean that in the midst of all this fake living I do for the sake of appearance and normality, something has managed to work its way deep into the recesses of my inner being and poke at just the right spot to cause my chest to cave in. I mean that I’ve managed to crash through the floor of my depression, and that I now have to spend some time wallowing around in the black ink of despair for a while, all while maintaining the best outward expression of normality that I can. It’s quite exhaustive.

My trigger, more often than not, always comes from my mother. That’s not to say that my mother is abusive, or that she sets unrealistic expectations for me, or any of that. My mom’s great… But she is horrifically depressed. Most days I can more or less brush it off, but sometimes it just eats at me like a disease. I mean any conversation with her feels like she’s not even remotely listening to me, which bothers me immensely, and any time I ask her about things she puts such a grey cast on it that I can feel myself getting pulled down with her.

If you don’t know, there are levels of to mood… I arrange them by color.
The white zone is mania. I love the white zone. I can get so much done… I’m irrationally happy… I am just excitement and awesome and life is grand.
The red zone is manic anger… I like that one, too, but it’s because I come up with the cruelest revenge plots… I don’t usually get to act on them, though, because I burn through the adrenaline too fast.
The blue zone is contentment. That’s the moment when I wake up feeling refreshed, and I look around at my dogs and just smile to myself and spend all day reading and sipping tea, and everything is just kind of okay. I don’t get to spend a lot of time here.
The beige zone is what I imagine most people live in. I’m not up, or down. I’m just kinda here. It’s where usually am when I go out with friends, because I like going out, but I don’t usually like whatever my friends might have dragged me to.
The gray zone is where my mother lives. It’s sad, but it’s not bawling or anything. You just feel shit, and you enjoy nothing, and even if you think you might enjoy something, a piece of your brain kicks on that reminds you why you can’t enjoy this moment… I don’t spend much time here, myself… instead…I end up in the black. That’s usually a term for not being in debt, but I’m crazy in debt… For me in the black refers to the void. When I get dragged down, you can see nail tracks in the grey as I speed past it down into the black. It’s where my soul goes to die. I don’t like it there, as you might imagine. It’s like my brain is stuck in a tar pit. Everything I try to do to get out makes the experience worse. I get dragged farther and farther down until I can’t even see a glimmer of the white zone anymore. It’s usually when I curl up somewhere (the shower is a great curling spot) and just try not to feel anything.

Feeling nothing is better than the black. Or maybe it’s part of it. I’m never sure. I just know that if I can manage to feel nothing, I can resurface somewhere in the gray or beige zone and work from there. The important thing is to get out of the black… to find some way to rise up out of the darkness and not kill myself or something equally as irrational and stupid (because all that shit makes perfect sense in the black).

At work or anywhere that isn’t home, however, I can’t curl in a ball somewhere and wait it out. No, instead I have to figure out some way to claw my way out of the black without losing my composure… without anyone noticing. Some attempts are better than others. Sometimes I can sit at my desk, take a Xanax, and listen to music until I’m kind of okay. Sometimes I end up snapping at people. Sometimes I end up hiding in the bathroom until I’m sure I’m not going to lose it. None of these things are particularly effective. I’m going to be in the gray or the black all day. There’s no way to pull myself out, because I have nowhere to reset.

Today that overwhelming feeling of of black has decided that I’m not going to eat. Fortunately, I’m fat from all the binge eating I usually do when I’m upset, so I won’t actually suffer for it, but it does give me a queasy feeling that makes me irrationally sad. Also, I’m cancelling things I love… I might re-up later, but when I get like this I just want to get rid of everything I own or do, and just stay in my house forever…. never seeing anyone, never leaving, just me and the dogs… maybe order some books from the internet to occupy my mind… It’s a bad feeling. I don’t like it. I don’t like this side of me. I don’t like the monster I turn into when my moods change.

Werewolf

I’ve been told that his is what it’s like to watch my moods change.

Nothing’s going to make this right, right now. Maybe when I get home eight or so hours from now, then it will all be fine. Maybe I can crawl into bed and sleep it off, or cry it out, or throw something at a wall and watch the shattered pieces as a metaphor for my insides…