home. dec 25th - 28th.

i can't remember which day i started uploading mixes to 8tracks, or why.

i think i started it on thursday. so that i could link to it on friday. we'll go with that version of the story...

day five, a friday.

stayed up late, woke up at the usual time.

i've not been to bed before midnight since i got here. and i've been waking up consistently at 7, but refusing to get up until 8. until today. because friday night i was up until after 3, so i woke up at 8, got up at 9.

i'm beginning to grow concerned that the half dose isn't working. because the smaller problem is that my sleep is wacky. no big deal, because i'm on vacation.

the bigger issue is this thing i've been doing with playlists.

that is why i've been up so late the last few days. it went from something that i'd half assed a while ago, when kit told me about it. but then i decided to revamp my dating site page to see what happens, and instead of listing out all of the bands i like, i just linked to my playlists that were posted.

and it's a bit like the chicken or the egg. did i have extra time to spend on it? did i want it on the site first? did i do it first, and then put it on the site after?

i don't know. but it's become a bit of an obsession. i've been leaving the house without things the past few days, simply because i'm so focused on starting the upload before i leave. friday, it was my phone and jose and my cigarettes. today, it was jose again.

part of what is happening, also, is that i am getting some pretty incredible feedback on 8tracks, so it is perpetuating my habit. i'm proud of my playlists. if there was a way i could quit my job, and make movie soundtracks all day, or just be a radio dj all day, i would. it's something i think i'm good at.

it's one thing when your sister, and your friends, tell you that your playlists are awesome. or thank you for getting them into some band they'd never heard of.

it's another when total strangers like your playlists, comment on them, and start following you. it's totally going to my head. in two days, i've gotten 11 emails from 8tracks, telling me about the interest.

but the problem is, even when i'm on vacation, i can't stop with the projects. and this one is different, only because it runs in the background, while i do other things.

yesterday was an epic last minute shopping day.

we had to wake up early to go to the navy base with grandpa. my shopping trip was nearly spoiled, because i didn't find anything i needed to find there. but i did get a kickass six pack of beer from charlottesville virginia. so it was fine.

that was when i realized i forgot jose, and my phone.

after that, we had a lunch break. and then we went to my most favorite place - the outlet malls. a tourist trap that's crowded always. but i couldn't breathe yesterday, guiltily smoking on tourists, fighting my way through the crowd. thankfully, the glass of cold duck grandpa and i had soothed my nerves.

we immediately lose each other every time we go. and i got halfway through the trip before remembering i had my work phone to touch base.

i'd somehow talked brownies into this, which i probably shouldn't subject people outside of my family to. we literally laughed the entire trip. it was so much fun. only the lack of jose brought me down, at all the missed photo ops. it was really devastating. so many missed photos.

but i did find some sweaters, skirts, and pants, on deep discount. i now own things from banana republic (holy shit! i'm fancy!!), and have a pair of brown work shoes, and black snow boots, to go with all of my fancy clothes.

and less selfishly, took care of all but one present (aubree's - the most important one, naturally) by the end of the trip.

aubree's hard, because there are two things i intended to get for her for xmas. one, a snowboard gear bag, because she needs one before the snow starts to fall in phila, if that ever happens. and two, i wanted to get her a tattoo when i get my half sleeve. but she doesn't know what she wants, so she isn't getting one.

she's handled. but i have nothing for her to unwrap, and that makes me pretty sad.

we came home, brownies went home, and we hung out while mom started feeling worse as the day wore on.

i edited my dating site profile, and posted a boatload of mixes online.

watched a fringe, and forced myself to sleep around 3 am. but i felt like i could have stayed up all night. kindof like tonight.

day six, christmas eve, a saturday.

mom is sick. it's the worst. she has the flu or something like it. so normally, mom is frantically preparing - wrapping, cooking, cleaning, setting up for church. and i'll admit i was relieved to get out of my once-a-year-church obligation.

but the cost was cleaning the house for company tomorrow (xmas), wrapping all the gifts while mimi and aubree cooked, doing the laundry, and eating the bounty of mom's kitchen at xmas.

we visited all grandparents today, but mine were cut short. due to sleeping in later, waking up slower, and taking my time at the house before leaving.

nice grandparents visit was cut short to go to the mean ones. and it was a doozy of a day over there. we stayed a while, because we haven't been going. long enough to witness a grandma meltdown/argument with dad. and long enough to see grandpa in one of his weird little funks.

he does this thing where he stands up and sits down. he has one of those old people recliners, that raise and lower with a remote. so he'll sit, and then recline the chair. and then raise it and stand up. in succession, several times. he must have done it ten times in few minutes.

we have to joke about it, or we'd cry. i joked that he was doing his daily calisthenics. and when he finished lunch (well, not really, but when he stopped eating chili), he wanted all of the desserts. and when aubree went to put on the neck drape to cut his hair, he flipped.

he didn't want a haircut. and he certainly didn't want her to cut it. he bitched about looking like he went through a sawmill. and dad fought with him about it for a few minutes before giving up. it was bad. he normally loves haircuts, so even aubree was caught off guard.

and that led to a broader discussion/argument, where grandpa said he can take care of himself, and can handle his business, and will go to the barber shop for a haircut. he fought the neck drape, and that argument became a fight about showering. because he swears he does and can shower on his own (he's not a goddamned cripple).

but he can't. of course he can't. his nurse bathes him a few times a week, but he doesn't shower. it's awful. and trying to tell him otherwise, and explaining that he does need help and he can't take care of himself without help was only met with more opposition, and more arguing.

it really sucked. and then dad resigned. and then grandma made a bunch of points about how she deals with this all day every day, and how she wishes dad had to deal with it, and live with it.

which started her crying, when dad said that he'd tried to tell her to leave him years ago, because this would be his problem now, not hers. and once she argued that, through tears, she got on some tangent about some lady she knew who left her husband and got married three more times. and then came back to more tears, because no one would want her now.

it was really fucking upsetting. and depressing. everyone hates these aspects of their lives. and there's no winning.

all dad could do was tell her that, in a month, he will be in a home. and won't be her problem anymore.


we left there, shopped a little more. psych out presents for mom. and more baking supplies for mom. and came home.

queue baking, cleaning, wrapping extravaganza.

i'm beat. and thanks to a beer consumed quickly for the effect, a little swirly.

earlier tonight, in my mix-induced idiocy, i put a beer on the carpet next to me. i was keeping an eye on my laptop. it was touching my beer, on the floor. and when my brother came in, the dogs went to the door, the first didn't clear the beer when it tried to jump the laptop.

so the beer spilled directly onto my keyboard.

i flipped. i'm still not over it. but we turned it over and dried it. and then vacuumed out the keys. and now i'm typing with sticky keys that need to be cleaned. gone are the apple days of having a keyboard that is easily popped out for cleaning.

gidget made a mess of things, and i'm not forgiving her anytime soon. or myself, for that matter. lest i forget that it was me, not her, who put the beer next to the laptop.

three mixes posted later, it still wasn't worth it. i'm just glad i didn't fry the thing. i'd have been royally fucked. i'll take it back to best buy for a geek squad scrubdown. and try not to fuck the guy who fixes it, in an expression of gratitude.

day seven, christmas day, a sunday.

saying as i was up until 3, and woke up to loud church on the tv at 8, i'll think that my lethargy today is the fault of sleep deprivation.

but it's probably closely related to eating all day long. as i said a little while ago, you can't start eating if you never stopped. i think i ate more in one day than i've eaten the whole time i've been home. unbelievable...

christmas started off sweetly. we all had matching pajamas, it was cute. and we got cleaned up and started all the food, then did family present unwrapping. the iphone surprise was awesome. dad's surprise was also awesome. and my little pile of presents from mom and dad were a little odd, but nice. the steve jobs biography. meh. i'm sure it will be awesome, but i would never have picked it. and the big present that everyone was so excited for me to open felt a little like an excessive present. a $100 soda maker.

while it's true that i drink a shit ton of seltzer, and they got the pack of flavoring that makes all different flavors of soda, aubree was super excited about it.

honestly, i'd rather spend the money on new clothes, but i'll keep it. because i'll use the shit out of it.

the only problem is that they grabbed the display box, so when i went to use it today to fix some flat ginger ale at lunch, the machine wasn't in the box. just the bottle and the charger.

but that just means another trip to the outlet malls. i missed the gap outlet the other day, knowing i'd go back with xmas money in hand.

i need to do my books, and see if i can even spend any of it. i'd planned on another $75 from mom and dad, which goes a long way there, but got the soda maker instead.

it was awesome to buy gifts for everyone. after years of not being home, and then switching to buying something for everyone last year, and doing it right this year, it was awesome.

spending days with mimi, talking and hanging out. and getting 85 mom hugs before she got sick. and shopping with dad and brownies.

it's been really good to be home. i'm pretty excited for the next week of my vacation. nina arrives tomorrow night, and i'll have four whole days with her, which i've been looking forward to since i said goodbye to her in august.

it's going to be awesome. i can't wait.

it will be a welcome change, to spend time with kids. because i've had my fill of sick old people. really, just grandpa. today was the worst i'd seen him. it was good to see mimi interacting with him, because she's so great at it. dementia is fucked up.

the later in the day it is, the worse he is. and yesterday was the hardest yet, because it was the latest in the day i've seen him.

everyone was over for christmas until maybe 2 or 3. but grandma decided she didn't want to drive home, so she made mimi drive them home. which meant aubree had to go pick her up and bring her back. so i tagged along.

it was supposed to be a quick extrication. we joked on the way out of our house that we'd go get her in an hour and a half. the plan was to get the presents unloaded and head back. we left a good 15-20 after mimi, and when we pulled in, grandpa was just getting out of the car. not a good sign.

we unloaded their presents, and aubree got sucked into helping grandma set up outlook on her computer. the last visit, grandma had a virus on her computer, so i'd spent that visit reformatting her hard drive for her. she won't stop opening those fucking forwarded emails, so every trip to see her involves this process. yet she refuses to listen.

so we ended up stuck over there for well over an hour and a half. during which time, grandpa took to his repetitive standing and sitting routine. walking in from the car, he put in that he was too tired to walk to his chair from the front door, but 30 minutes later, he stood up and said he wanted to go for a walk. knowing he'd not be into it a few minutes in, i tried to dissuade him, but he started to get adamant about it, so we took him for a walk. just into the parking lot outside their house, he wanted to turn around, and mimi said no.

'you wanted to go for a walk, so we're walking.'

if he could remember, that would teach him.

before the walk, and during, and upon returning, he was stuck on the house being a shit hole, and said he didn't remember signing a deed. and that he wanted to go to their house in virginia.

it's a common theme, which requires explaining that he wanted to sell the house in virginia, and did, and wanted to move here (in his own defense, he didn't, but was too sick at that point to be so far away from the family). and he wanted his old car, of course, which he had also sold. didn't remember that either.

he stayed stuck on the deed to the shit hole for well over 45 minutes. repeating and repeating.

he'd eaten so much food at our house, and as soon as he got in, put in that he was hungry again. but didn't want to walk 10 feet into the kitchen to eat.

then he started screaming that he needs help, 'help me, help me! i need help!'

over and over and over.

mimi was awesome.

'you're not allowed to yell. we can hear you. what do you need?'

'i need help!'

'we can hear you. what do you need help with?'

he couldn't say what he needed help with, but continued to repeat himself, regardless.

all the while, grandma is yelling over him, because she wouldn't put in her hearing aids, to be able to hear herself or us. it was obnoxious.

she's so jealous of all the attention he gets. but doesn't see it as him being fucked and helpless. i mean, i had to find his socks and put them on his feet, because he can't do it himself. mimi had to take him to the bathroom, after he told her he didn't have to go when he walked past the bathroom. he sat down and then decided he did have to go.

but all that attention, like tending to a child, makes her crazy. because, as i said before, she thinks he is faking.

and then he did what he does every day, that i have only seen once. this time it went on for an hour...

he can't see well. one eye does not have vision (his left). grandma has a la-z-boy chair to his left. but when he gets rowdy at night, she won't sit in it, because he's loud. so he can't see her, when she sits further left.

so he starts yelling 'roberta!' and 'where's mom?' (they never know if he means her, or his mother who's been dead for 20 years)

and he doesn't stop yelling, because he can't see her. and she won't move to where he can see her, to stop it.

it was rotten. he wouldn't stop yelling. mimi kept standing directly in front of him, saying, 'you're not allowed to yell. she's right there on the couch. do you see her?'

and he couldn't see her.

late at night, when they are alone, he'll occasionally escape the house. or fall out of bed. or just start yelling 'help me! help me! i need help!' the fire department busted in the door one night, because someone heard him, and grandma wouldn't get out of bed to quiet him down. they've shown up on more than one occasion.

it blows. everyone wants to put him out of his misery. he asks daily to be put out of his misery. kevorkian was right. no one should have to live like this.

and for the record, if i ever get to be like that, i WILL put myself out of my own misery. dirt nap via morphine overdose for me, please.

consider this to be my living will...

home. dec 19th - 22nd.

day one, a monday.

the preparation for this trip was pretty staggering.

in addition to all the errands, and work errands, i also had to pick up my ativan refill while i was at suck store. i was down to two, and it's something i don't want to not have in my knapsack at all times.

i told the cashier that it was the best $3.27 i've spent in a long time.

we didn't get in until 10 pm. the flight was cake, except for the part where i thought we'd left our id's at the check in. we got to tsa, and i forgot that i'd put both of our id's in my bag. what else is new? we went down and back to get them, but she said she'd given them back. right in my bag, where i'd haphazardly put them...

i'd had a beer at home while i wrote, and had a glass of wine on the plane, and except for a little white knuckling on take off and ascent, it was a breeze.

we landed, it was in the mid sixties, and the old familiar feeling of the first cigarette on florida soil returned. it's a mix of lightheadedness from smoking, and high humidity, and thick air. i was sweating in a long sleeve tee and jeans, immediately.

hugs all around, and into the car, and home. we stayed up talking until maybe midnight, and passed out.

day two, a tuesday.

i tried to sleep in, but failed. i've been logging my sleep, to make sure it returns to normal. it seems to be, already. i feel very lucky.

and somehow, not having weed isn't proving too difficult. life would be nicer if i had some, but i'm okay without it.

we went to grandma's for chicken fingers, which is always the welcoming lunch. it was awesome. we visited for a while, and grandpa smoked his cigar while i smoked, and we chatted idly. he asked about ever, so i told him about the path he chose to go down, and how glad i was that i got out when i did.

it was a nice visit. and then we left for mean grandma's. aubree's been giving me a lot of shit about calling her that lately, and this trip might break my habit. but i am still struggling with it. we had a heated discussion today about how much to spend on her/them. because i think it's retarded to cash the check for $35 (joint birthday and xmas) and turn around and spend what they give us on them.

what's the point of that?

so i spent $10 and she spent $15 to get them a gift card. which she'll bitch about spending, like she does every year. it's like, 'here, grandma. get whatever you want.' and somehow she is never happy.

big shocker. but i'll try to stop calling her mean grandma.

mom had a meltdown. well, two, really.

the first was before we'd made it over to grandma's. she'd snapped at them, because she was under a lot of stress, and was pissed at the way they don't take care of themselves. grandma has stopped bathing, and has been in the same clothes for four days. she'd fallen a few days before and mom wigged out, because she was still in bloodstained pants.

usually, grandma is so excited to see us that she has mom set her hair in curlers, and fix her up. but i guess that, because she's depressed and feels shitty, she didn't want to take a bath or have her hair done. much less put on clean clothes.

and grandpa is lazy, too, and also totally losing his memory, so he swore to mom that he'd helped her put on clean clothes after a sponge bath. and mom snapped, calling him out about it.

so we got there, not knowing any of this had happened. and when we went home, mom made the same comment she made this summer, about hating her life and not even knowing why she was alive sometimes.

and i've so had it with her attitude and unwillingness to reclaim her life that i started yelling at her.

'this is YOUR life. only you can decide what you will and won't do. and everyone is going to have to understand that you can't live for other people, and waste the time that you have here. if you don't want to do this everyday, then don't. if you hate your life, then change it. this is ridiculous. you can't be everything to everyone all of the time. so don't even try.'

she had a whole slew of arguments, while crying.

'but if she falls, he can't pick her up, and the emt's brutalize her, even when you tell them to be careful. if i don't do this for them, who else is going to? i can't stand to see her in pain. i try to teach her how to help him help her, by lifting herself up, but she's just too weak. if i don't go, no one else can. everyone works except for me.'

so i said, 'if grandma falls, they can call 911. really, they need to learn how to get her up again on their own. they can't be dependent on you. what if you're out somewhere, further from their house than we were today? you can't just stop what you're doing to go help. she falls once a week. it's too much, mom. and it's going to kill you. this is too much stress. you need a break.'

and that was when she admitted that she'd snapped at them and had a meltdown earlier in the day. she cried more, and argued more.

i told her she needs counseling. i've told her this before, because she refuses to deal with aubree's relationship, and refuses to accept her as she is. but i told her she's literally going to die if she keeps doing this all the time. her role can't be caretaker, because she's wasting her healthy time on this planet, and any one of them is too much stress on her. much less, all four of the grandparents.

let's face it. it fucking SUCKS. this is probably grandpa's last christmas. i assume that he'll make it to spring break, when we come back, but soon after that will be his funeral. but he wants to die. he is only averaging lucid moments a couple times a week, on a good week, and he knows his life sucks. he's going into a nursing home in a month, once they hide all their money. he doesn't ever know who my aunt is (his daughter - he hits on her sometimes), mostly doesn't know who my grandmother is (who hates him from years of abuse, and who confuses his lucid moments with him faking dementia for the attention), and only sometimes knows who my dad is. and my poor mom, who goes there a few times a week? he doesn't know who she is. this time he didn't know aubree, who he can usually place because she cuts his hair when she's living here, or visiting. he never knows who i am, because i'm never around.

and as for mom's parents, who it absolutely breaks my heart to see going down the short road they have left here? her dad has prostate cancer, gets his markers this week, and starts radiation in the new year. and grandma keeps falling, which can be the kiss of death. if she breaks her hip, it's all over. her doctor won't refill her script for antidepressants, which gave her back her will to live, and made all of her pain disappear. so now she just wants to die, and says so several times a day.

and grandpa's had a few close calls, confusing his pills for her pills. which meant that, one day, he took her oxycontin (super high dose, she's been addicted for YEARS). and he was too embarrassed to tell mom, because mom demands to be in charge of the medication, and he won't let her, because he can handle it.

he got really sick, and didn't admit it until after the fact. which would have really sucked if he had overdosed.

and he was in the habit of giving night meds in the daytime, which meant grandma was nodding off and sleeping all day, and up all night in pain.

finally, recently, mom set up their pills for a month, and he is allowed to dispense them daily. but, at the same time, he doesn't know what day it is.

it's a bad scene here. i made mom promise me that i wouldn't go to a hospital, a nursing home, or a funeral this vacation.

so far, so good...

i don't remember how the conversation with mom ended, but it certainly didn't end with mom saying that she's going to take time for herself, or get help, or come up to phila, or get counseling.

so the end was the beginning. i'm waiting a few more days until it happens again.

and then i went to dinner with brownies. which is always awesome. we talked for hours, trying to cram in everything we've missed over some seriously awesome burgers.

dad didn't tell me mimi was coming over that night, so i missed her. we made plans to hang out the next night.

when i came home, aubree was already asleep, and i followed suit not too much later. i finished the letter to greg that i'll never send, that i'd started the night we got into town.

day three, a wednesday

tried to sleep in again. failed again.

i woke up post mom's meltdown, to have one small one of my own.

revisiting the greg stuff, writing that letter out, and erasing three notes i had left in my phone, unsent, was hard. it definitely put my head in a different space. one that i haven't let it go in a while. and talking to mom about the shrink visit over morning coffee and my first cigarette, and about how greg started the whole thing, made me cry over him for the first time in a long time.

and there was a point in the day today where i was laying in the sun. and i should have been happy. i was happy. but it was a happiness with an underlying sadness. not a lot, like this summer. not enough to ruin a nice bit of time in the sun. i feel like it was a manageable sadness. like i finally dealt with a little of that leftover messiness, in a bite size chunk that i could stomach.

and like the discomfort i felt when i erased everything that was ever passed between us, it was hard to let go of the last shreds. at the same time, they'd been in my phone for so long, and i had not revisited them. so re-reading them made me remember the nights when i wrote them. and reminded me of why i erase everything. it was hard to feel it again after forgetting what i'd written, twice removed. it affected me more than i expected it to, when i set out to write one last note and finally be done with the whole fucking thing.

and, of course, because i dug it up to deal with it, today i picked at the scab a little. my mind wandered to sex with him. and i stopped it each time, but until i find something that amazing again, i think i'll wander there occasionally. and stop beating myself up for doing it.

it was good for me to process that last little bit. they were notes written when i was in my darkest times. they were written from a place of such utter heartbreak, yet i never used any words to tip him off to just how much he hurt me. and took pride in my ability to end the letter that i'll never send by telling him just how much he fucked me up, and that he shouldn't ever do that to anyone again. that i don't hold it against him.

but i also don't quite forgive him, either. going through it with mom was pretty hard. i couldn't talk about it this summer. only to aubree, and my friends. and not without losing my shit. but i just felt so embarrassed, after telling my parents that i met someone. i couldn't do it. and the story has changed so much since then, that i just now can give her an accurate account. and putting into such simplistic words at this point in the game felt both good and bad. both easy and hard. saying the words was easy. but hearing them come from my mouth was not.

but i did it.

and today, as if to prove something to myself, i played 'home'. because aubree and i both have had it stuck in our heads since we got here. and i was okay. because it is an awesome song.

anyway, we left from there to go shop with mom, and succeeded in getting a present for my brother and his soon-to-be wife before mom got a call that grandma had fallen again.

so a couple hours after we left, we had to stop shopping and beeline it over to their house to pick her up off the floor.

it was pretty awful. she was crying, because she was so helpless. when we walked in, she was on the floor and grandpa was in his la-z-boy, watching tv. i guess that, when she falls, she can't lift herself back up (no arm strength, no leg strength, and the reason she falls is usually because she can't feel her feet, so she can't get them under her to lift herself back up again), so she just waits until mom comes to help her. and so does grandpa. he'd tried for about 45 minutes to pick her up before calling mom.

i had to leave the room, because i was getting upset. i guess she sleeps without pants on, so she's in her diaper all the time. and that is something i don't ever want to see.

aubree and mom picked her up while i watched. it was awful. she got a nasty bruise on her leg from the fall, and that kicked off the whole 'this is why i can't leave florida' argument mom makes when we tell her she needs a break. i guess the couple times mom couldn't help, the emt's bruised her up pretty bad when 911 was called. once, they skinned her shin, almost to the bone. nasty.

and when she started crying, i went out for a smoke, until it was time to leave.

anyway, we came home after that, hung out for a bit.

i wrote the writer a nice letter, on paper.

then everyone left, and mimi came over.

i'd been looking forward to it, because i wanted to talk to her about meds and my situation, along with everything else that i don't talk to my parents about, and get her take on all of it.

i learned so much about her that i never knew. she was a midwife for ten years, which blew my mind. it was before she lived here, so it was before i was ever close with her, and i guess i was young enough to not know what that even meant. she birthed 175 babies naturally. she stopped doing that to get her nursing license, which is what i've always known her as.

i passed out early last night, again. well, early is midnight these days.

day four, a thursday.

i woke up, went to grandma's for lunch. pepper steak, something i make when i'm homesick for lunch at grandma's. i mimic it well. i mean, the original, that grandma made from scratch when she was able to cook. now they cheat on seasonings, and use packets of gravy mix.

i totally pulled off not one, but two, xmas surprises today. we got mom an iphone 4, which she has been hinting at, nothing approaching subtlety. did that before lunch. after lunch, psyched her out, making her go to the apple store while aubree got her phone switched out, and i got mine cleaned, instead of replaced, as i'd expected. i'm having charging issues.

came home. got sun for maybe 30 minutes. and went back out for dad's surprise, which was a surprise for us. we were trying to get a remote for his work van, and to have it programmed for him. only his van didn't take the programming. so now we have a remote that doesn't work. and we're thinking about how to move forward...

and now? dinner out. pizza buffet. haven't been for something like 15 years, when cici's was a brand new concept.

le sigh...

oh. and? i am a goddamned hornball. I REALLY NEED TO GET LAID. otherwise, i feel sorry for any parking meter that crosses my path.

normalcy overshot. dec 12-17th.

(WARNING: this post took six days to write, so it might take as long for you to read it...)

i saw my shrink on monday. it changed everything.

here i am, feeling great, happy, productive, creative, excited.

i almost canceled the appointment, because i didn't feel like i had anything to work through. nothing tough, nothing sad, nothing keeping me up at night with worry.

for three weeks now, i've been trying to do all the things.

i've been making unreasonable deadlines for myself and everyone around me.

but the problem is that one thing leads to another. and pretty soon, i'm doing everything.

starting everything. burning out. taking a break from it. and finishing everything.

it's also led to spending a RETARDED sum of money in the last two months. more money than i have, in fact.

a few days after the black friday mini spree, i lost my checkbook. it proved to be a very stressful predicament, because i am pretty meticulous when it comes to my money. and i'd lost track, due to all the shopping. i gave up on ever finding it and started a new register, and balanced it only once.

i had $2 in my bank account, due to the double happy pills charge. then i got paid, got rent and went crazy at home depot, three trips for paint and supplies in one week. it was rough. money is my main source of stress, and i went from being way ahead to borrowing money to keep from overdrawing my account.

i paid all the bills late, which i never do. and freaked out on tuesday when capital one called because i missed a payment. because i am so on the ball, they didn't charge a fee or raise my apr. i considered myself lucky. i haven't missed either of two credit card payments once in the past year. it was kindof a big deal to me.

this week, i've lost track of money again. i haven't balanced my books since i started over. it's been two weeks. and the not knowing drives me batty. especially in the throes of planning my first epic house party.

i borrowed money from a deposit in the amount of the check i was owed for the shrink copayment check. to keep from overdrawing a second time.

and i've used my credit card again. i'd been making serious headway, getting out of debt. i got the card frede and i had maxed out at 10k, to around $800. it was not easy. the account that is still open had about $500 on it for emergencies. until i bought my new glasses with it. and until today, when i put another $100 on it. and another $150.

i shouldn't be using it. but i am. to spend money i don't have on things i feel like i need. it was aubree who pointed out that i need to stop with the gifts.

i did this the most when i was 19, i guess, but off and on since. i get on a kick where i luck into things that are perfect for my friends, and i have an impossible time saying no. she's been trying to keep me in check with it.

and of all the things i think of when i think of bipolar, it's the shopping sprees that scare me most. i'm not textbook bipolar 1, so it's not to the tune of thousands of dollars, like you hear about. but i definitely will go months without shopping at all, and when i do? i drop about $500 at a time. and with black friday, and the house, and the party(s), i haven't been this strapped in a while.

all because i just want to do all the things at the house, while i'm on a roll. i want to be DONE with all the projects so i can just relax and enjoy what i've done.

but i feel like i can't get there. i mean, the dad trip was awesome. and the carpet. but once we started the painting, i just want every room to look as awesome as the ones that are painted.

it also makes me think about the lottery. greg was both crazy AND stupid about it. i had a three ticket a week thing going for months before i met him, and when he brought up his lottery habit, it struck me. i know that a lot of people play, but he had it all figured out. he's the tax man. so he knew what to do when you win, because he was CONVINCED he would win it. but he'd drop like $20 a week on it, and not even check his tickets if no one won the powerball. with that substantial a habit, it drove me crazy that he didn't even bother to check his tickets. who knows how much money he has literally thrown away.

insane. but i, too, feel that i could win it. i think i'm a good person, and i am a giving person, almost to a fault. and i feel like i deserve it, when i'm working so tirelessly. so is that problematic in light of this? luckily, buying lottery tickets made me think of all the plans we made together when we were going to someday win together. so i had stopped for months. aubree gives me a lot of shit about wasting money on the lottery, too. so it kept me stopped when associating it with greg didn't. but i'm back on the kick again now, the $3 a week habit.

and then there's my desire to finally get the white half sleeve tattoo. i don't know if i'm still high from getting the telescope i've been pining after for two and a half years, and want the tattoo because the last time was so amazing. or if it's a desire to finally get something i've wanted for so much longer - fifteen years, since i drew the thing.

i want to drop the $300 i think it would cost to have it. and because i'm faithful to my tattoo artist (ol' dirty rob), i want him to do it. and i'm going home. so i want it now.

i guess the session started off at a normal clip. i told her that i didn't have much to talk about. that, for the most part, i have been doing well. fixing the house, not thinking about greg so much, and getting a lot done in every facet of my life.

i've noticed that i've been talking faster lately. it's kindof the same way that i have been writing volumes. i feel like my fingers can barely keep up with my thoughts, to write. i'm afraid to forget anything, so this post actually started out as a laundry list of one word things to write about. like cliff notes for this novella that has been my life in the last two weeks.

in any case, she noticed it. i was aware, but it didn't seem so strange. i explained that i didn't get much sleep the night before, and that i've been a little off lately. staying up super late painting and working on the house, and waking up for work at the normal time of 7 am. the sleep problems started when my neck and back started hurting. i thought i slept wrong, and had a kink in my neck. but it didn't go away for five days. now i wonder if i slept wrong, or if this is some weird effect of hypomania (which was brought to my attention on the crazy meds site page for the medication she wants to put me on). i am completely smitten with that website. the language he uses and the way he explains everything is so real and funny, using humor to make light of some seriously disturbing shit. one night i was up until 3, it was because i was trying to read his entire site in a night.

i didn't notice that the look on her face changed. and i kept talking, right into the next topic, probably the house and my sister.

that morning, i felt like the trip was going to be a waste. but when i got there, i was talking fast, and cramming in all this stuff, and easily could have talked for another whole hour, if she wasn't going to leave for the day.

my last few visits have been stretching it to try to talk for 40 minutes. when we hit the hour mark, she stopped me and asked to go back to something i'd just said.

pretty consistently, i'm her last patient of the day. i try to get her latest appointment, which is only 4 on mondays. so running over time wasn't doing anything but keeping her from going home. it was nice that she let me run over my time. until she started telling me why she wanted me to talk more.

she wanted to go back to a comment i made about starting the new blog and how i hadn't written more than four posts last month, and how, day one of this blog i had two, and at the end of the first week, even though they're drafts, i have eight.

feast or famine. i told her that i think it might be seasonal, because i'm very productive and prolific with words in the spring and fall when the weather is nice, and that usually i'm in a pretty good mood then, too. and that i want to write all day. and that, in the summer and winter, when it's either stupid hot or retarded cold, i don't feel like writing all that much, i prefer to hibernate.

i used the phrase 'mini manic phase', in talking about the writing. i have done this my whole life. and i told her that, if she looked at the boxes filled with every journal i've ever written, she'd see one or two journals for summer and winter. and ten or twenty for fall and spring. it's always been this way. and fall is even more so than the spring.

so i was saying that i guess it's the weather making me revert back to being inspired to write.

and she came back to it.

she had this look in her eye that i'd never seen before. genuine concern. i have lost my shit in her office over ever, over greg, over the divorce, over money, over the house. and she has never looked concerned, even when i can't speak for crying so hard.

but that day, she had this look. and here i am, talking a mile a minute, about a bunch of random shit, in a disconnected way as it pops into my brain. telling her many things i've been accomplishing and how awesome i feel about it.

and going on to say that i either feel like everything is lining up perfectly, or nothing is going right. and that, the past two weeks, with the party and life in general, i've made so much progress that everything has lined up perfectly. little coincidences that i give too much attention to that make me feel like my life is on the right path. i go through phases of that, too, and told her so.

i told her i've been feeling really good, and have been super social and doing so much, and attribute it to feeling better and coming off of an epic birthday weekend trip celebration.

and she said, very seriously, leaning in, that she is actually concerned.

and said, 'i don't want to worry you, but i think that putting you on lexapro has put you beyond the level of happy that it is supposed to.

'i want to go back to something you said. tea, i've been seeing you for two years now, and i have never seen you like this. sometimes, rarely, patients get on antidepressants, and eliminate their depression. and then they overshoot feeling good. sometimes, an antidepressant can break through depresson and expose underlying issues. you said something about a mini-manic phase. let's talk about that.'

so i went through the writing stuff with her then, and about the house.

and she said, 'ok. i think that putting you on lexapro is exposing some bipolar tendencies.'

and i fucking freaked out.

'i think you might be on the bipolar spectrum, in a phase called 'hypomania'. i know that you know that you are not textbook. you are definitely not bipolar 1. but you might be bipolar 2. it's the light version, at the low end of the spectrum. and we need to talk about meds. i know you don't want to be more medicated than you already are, but my concern here is that you're really up right now, and if i'm right about the spectrum, you will crash. and i don't want that to happen.'

i was speechless. my head was swimming. thinking about how devastating the news of greg being diagnosed as bipolar was to me when i found out. and how alice had told me the meds he was given affected him so negatively until he balanced out.

i told her that it's in my family. mimi and her son both have it, he is medicated for it, because he is textbook. mimi takes antidepressants when she is low, and nothing when she is up.

and the worst part is, i have consistently written about wondering if i was. it falls under the category of diagnosing myself with a myriad of ailments. but bipolar has come up more than anything, because of how moody i am, and how it changes at the drop of a hat. one tiny incident has the power to send me to the other end of things.

in a way, when she said it, i felt relieved. unlike the lump in my arm, where it's obviously there, but somehow doctors can tell me 'nothing is wrong'. it felt good to feel like i have been right all along.

but once that feeling wore off, which was very quickly, i might add, i really started to freak out.

so she told me her plan for me. she said to cut all my lexapro in half. to dial back my dose to see what happens. that i'll feel better in a week, and that we can talk again when i'm back from florida, and reevaluate. we both agreed that cutting back the meds might be enough to balance me out.

it was scary, because i'm three months in. and she said this is the point where i've acclimated to the medication. and i am completely depending on the fact that cutting my tiny pills in half will fix me.

because i cannot deal with the alternative. she told me to research what she wants to talk about putting me on. which scares me, too. and that she won't change my meds because she knows how much i love lexapro, unless she absolutely has to.

i don't believe in taking meds to combat meds.

and of course, part of me is refusing to believe that i might actually be loosely diagnosed as bipolar.

fuck me. it's serious.

and at the same time? i feel like i've known all along in a way.

and on my own, without coming to that conclusion, i've been self medicating. i had been taking ativan, without thinking about why. i have been smoking weed for the past three months. and occasionally drinking. until the last week or two, i wouldn't mix them. but the past two weeks, i've been smoking and then having a drink after.

and all the time spent painting, i have been drinking. one night, i was drinking straight out of the bottle of cold duck, more than half. didn't even get tipsy. it feels like balancing myself out. the stress and work of painting needed to be taken down with weed and alcohol.

i've been self medicating, without realizing it.

i've been trying to slow myself down.

so it goes. i'm six days into a half dose. every day i feel a little better. i'm glad i saw her when i did, because that had only been two days of feeling wonky. it's now been a week of feeling wonky.

but it's tapering off.

and i told her that once the party is behind me, i won't feel like i'm so frantically doing everything. and that two weeks away from my house, after the birthday celebrating is over, will probably fix me.

i really hope so. in the meantime, i'm in this state. i was before i knew her suspicions. and now that i know them, i can't tell if i'm applying signs backwards, or having symptoms because i am aware of it. am i over classifying, or is it legit?

one of the harder things for me to admit to right now is that i'm having an overwhelming desire to connect with greg over this. and part of me is afraid that part of my believing her and applying all of the criteria to my life is just one more way that i'm refusing to let go of him, and STILL trying to connect with him.

i'm back to where i was, applying new information to everything that happened with him.

and knowing that, if shrink is right, this makes even more sense than just knowing that he was bipolar.

we both were in a manic upswing, mine was brought on by the insane connection with him, and meeting him in the flesh for the first time.

and because he is the only person i know who is going through this at the same time i am, getting used to knowing something about yourself that is both surprising and overwhelming, i want to tell him.

it's the worst thing for me. i cannot do it. one of the four posts i've titled as a draft is a letter to him. because i can't do it in real life, i want to get it out of my system and post it, to alleviate the pressure i feel to do it. to do it, without causing any harm. all the payoff, none of the risk.

another return to another old habit. i know now that it is some form of self-harm. nothing good can come from it.

and before any of this came up, i overthought slipping into another old habit the night i went to the bar to see dan. it reminded me of how i used to drive to the coffee house to see coffee, killing time in the area until the bar opened. and just the fact that i know better than to get mixed up with a hot bartender, because it used to drive me absolutely insane to see him flirting with other girls the way he flirted with me. it made it feel like it wasn't genuine. and i don't think i should go down that path again. but not going back for a month should take care of that, and seeing how he acts the next time will be a pretty good indicator if there is interest, especially when i have aubree in tow to gauge it and help with my awkwardness.

i started to notice just after that last appointment (a few weeks ago), that i felt sexually awake. i wrote that i couldn't decide if i was rebelling against her saying i wasn't ready, or if it was genuine. but since that change, i've been having some pretty hot dreams. for a week, it was every single night. chalk, 19 year old boyfriend, chris, mcqueen. super random, and every night someone different. and i have been noticing how many hot dudes are walking around all day every day. is it that my standards are lower, because it's been SIX AND A HALF FUCKING MONTHS (well, NOT fucking), or that i need it, or something else. after reading the hypomania description, now i'm attributing it to that.

not to mention, that one day when i texted intern and greg, indirectly proposing sex. i got to the point where i was so desperate for a sexual connection that i cast aside my normal personality, and just went for it.

in any case, she said she doesn't want to put me on a mood stabilizer like lithium or anything heavy. that what she'd prescribe is the least strong of all of the meds, to research it and entertain the thought, in case that is what she recommends.

and then things got real. she said that, because i'm so in tune with myself, and tell her what's going on (i didn't think to mention weed and drinking, but i REALLY wish i had), and know when i don't feel right, that she won't force me to change meds right away. she understands my reluctance.

i'm taking aubree with me, when i go. she wanted to see me as soon as possible, so i'm going in the morning after we get back from home.

aubree thinks she's totally wrong. and she thinks that using the word manic to describe these phases made her jump to an incorrect conclusion.

i think having her there would show what my session is like, and would give an objective opinion to provide my shrink with, so she gets the real story, not my version based on my own perception.

she commanded me to call her if my sleep doesn't return to normal within the first week of meds, if not sooner. of all the things that got her attention, the lack of sleep from increased productivity was probably the biggest sign of trouble to her.

she explained that, by overshooting well-adjusted happiness, if she is right, i'm heading for a crash that she doesn't want me to experience. hence the dialing back of lexapro. and that if the half dose doesn't work in the time between appointments, we have to talk about the next course of meds.

it fucked with me for the rest of the night, and has been fucking with me ever since.

i'm trying to think myself well. trying to convince myself that cutting my dose will help, because i honestly don't want to live my life without lexapro. it has helped me so much. and she said that she's afraid that if i'm not honest with her, that the hypomania will continue to feel super awesome, until it ends. the pendulum is not headed in a way she wants me to swing, because she thinks i'm headed for a fall.

and that is scary, too.

i'm just trying to put it out of my mind for another week. i'm afraid that thinking about it will make the outcome different.

to back up a little, my sleep has been all fucked up for a few weeks now. trying to paint everything, until all hours of the night. staying up and writing after a serious drought - maybe the longest since i started cwsr. and waking up too early (like 7 every day, without an alarm) and unable to go back to sleep.

my eating has been severely screwed up, too, because of my sleep. i'm waking up nauseous and not being able to stomach food while i'm at work, in the store with access to food. then busy days spent driving, when i don't take time to stop. and then coming home and working on the house so much.

for about a week now, my first meal has been around 6 or 7 pm. and i pig out, trying to eat three meals' worth of food in one sitting. and then get hungry and eat again super late, maybe 11 or midnight. and it's all carbs, so i attribute the being up late half of the problem partially to the food i want to eat that late at night.

last weekend, because of the birthday stuff i was wonky, too. friday night i was up until after 2 because of the show and the subsequent telescope surprise party. saturday i woke up at 7, pissed to be awake, and feeling racy like a panic attack, but not panicking mentally. i took an ativan and tried to go back to sleep, but couldn't.

i popped another ativan when i got in the car to go to work on monday, hours before the shrink appointment. i had the same racy feeling, like i'd had too much coffee, before i had even had a sip. i switched back to half caff this week. sigh...

after a very long time (month and a half) of not using ativan more than one time, i've been popping them right when i wake up in the morning. it's a strange sensation. i feel like i can't get comfortable. my body is hot and cold, and when i adjust the heat to accomodate, i'm still uncomfortable. it's an old familiar feeling of not being comfortable in my own skin. i feel restless.

i feel FAST.

the morning is my time. i wake up, despite lack of sleep, feeling very inspired. the timing truly sucks, because i really want to spend all morning writing, when i have to go to work. and then when i get home, i don't want to do it anymore. or maybe it's just that i'm doing too many other things, and don't have time/energy to do it then.

but i have four posts started, to edit, right now.

there are so many things that are happening, that i really want to get onto 'paper' and process and think and write about. but i don't have the time to do it.

this will all change on monday when i hop a flight to florida for two and a half weeks. i will have all the time in the world to write down ALL OF THE THINGS.

and i've been burdened with wanting to write. what is really strange is that nina gave me the name of a dictation app. since i write how i speak, you'd think this would be the best possible thing. i could paint and blog at the same time?!? but instead, it's the writing/typing that i work well with. speaking just wasn't doing it for me. i gave up after three tries. i also have always hated my recorded voice (even on voicemail), and i think that had something to do with it.

it also makes me think of the coffee days, when i would carry around that little recorder, thinking everything i was thinking of and saying was so fucking profound. struck by inspiration all the time, and listening to them a couple years later in tahoe when i was snowed in. it was horrifying. so maybe it's a little too close to that for me.

but all of the things that are changing so quickly around me are making want to write them all out. i can't type fast enough. and i didn't think anything of the fact that my initial post on this blog was so lengthy. it just felt like a lot of pent up stuff that i was releasing, after a hiatus from writing.

but in light of the shrink visit, now i fear that it's something else altogether. i just can't stop, and i don't feel like i want to.

it made me re-watch harriet the spy the other night while i was painting my room in a marathon manner.

'i want to see the world, and i want to write down EVERYTHING!'

it feels like that. only i'm not a 12 year old little girl.

watching that movie made me feel even more inspired to write, as if this hasn't been hard enough on me already.

right now? i should be mopping. i should paint the one door that is making me insane.

but that will lead to painting two doors and then the third, and cleaning everything else.

and i just can't do that again today. so i'm finally making the time to write that i have been craving for a solid week.

which is a beautiful segue into trying to do all of the things.

how i get these bad little seeds of an idea wedged in my brain, i will never know. and why i am so stubborn and particular, i will also never know. take for example, the christmas tree.

i have no need for a christmas tree. especially not a week before i go to florida for two weeks. but i was throwing a party, and i just HAD to have one. i'm flat broke. whatever. fucking had to have one. so we bought one.

and i justified this by deciding to get one string of lights and one little thing of ornaments. like, 'see? it doesn't have to be expensive'.

until it looked bare and the lights made a belt around the middle of my pear shaped tree.

two christmas tree lots, and three trips for lights/ornaments later, it was done. i probably spent about four hours of my spare time on this tree. because i just had to have it for the party.

or, how about the keg? i invited about 70 people over for a birthday/house showing off party. so i decided i wanted to get a keg. what i learned after i decided to get the keg should absolutely have changed my mind about it. first of all, i got the tiniest keg that you can get. it's about two and a half cases of beer.

for the same money, and without the deposit of $70, i could have had three cases of blue moon in bottles. so ask me why i got a keg? because i just HAD to have it for the party. like the tree. to say that i had one.

and now, because i didn't change my mind, unlike the bottles i could have purchased and left here while i am home, i gave myself two days to try to drink a pony keg of beer, so i can return it before i leave.

i prefer beer on draught, so i guess that is why i got it. but the people who showed up to the party all brought their own drinks, so aubree, kit, eve, and i were the only ones drinking from it. last night, we went at it and successfully finished it, with the added help of alice and cody.

the decision was stupid.

and the party. i was so so excited for everyone to see the house this way, because the last time they were in it, ever was using, and it literally looked, felt, and smelled like a crack den. a house kept by someone who was very very unwell.

i was telling the writer in a chat the other night that, in the last two and a half years since we first finished the renovating to the point we could move in, this is the first time i have been proud of my house.

i was so excited to show it off to people who practically lived in it, or did live in it. and not a single one of them showed up last night. it was really disappointing. and the result: yesterday, before the second party, i unfriended a bunch of people on facebook who always ignore me. even when i comment on things to them. and who didn't express any interest in seeing me, or the house.

up to and including... intern.

done. moving on...

i woke up sad about it yesterday, because we had the most fun party i think i've ever thrown. all my best friends showed up, which is why it was the best party ever. but all the work and stress to get it done specifically to show it off felt like a waste.

my real friends are stoked on the progress so far, and none of them judge me for not mopping or vacuuming. they know how much work it takes, because they have been helping me for a month and they all know what it took to get it this far.

i can't help wanting this to be done before i leave, so that after i relax at home and have christmas, new years, and vacation time poolside, i don't get stressed on the house when i come back. i don't want to come back to more work.

it's rough.

so... carry this information out exponentially. all aspects of my life. i am fixated on stupid shit, and am having an impossible time focusing on the big picture.

i haven't bought a single christmas present for anyone, but have a bunch of christmas lights for the outside of the house, that i ran out of time to hang. i didn't have time to clean my house for the party, because i was organizing shit in my bedroom, because i wanted my room put back together. the one room in the house that, as aubree so smartly pointed out, i can close the door and no one would even know that it was a mess.

but i can also admit that, thinking chris was going to show, i wanted my room together for the sake of hosting a boy. i (idiotically) put a condom on my nightstand, hidden under my lamp. i was CONVINCED i was going to get laid on friday night.

i stopped cleaning my room, and shut the door. cleaned the first floor a little, before getting ready.

what's making this all worse is that i am having an impossible time multitasking. and i'm very scattered. and i've been more disorganized than i usually am.

i gauge this in one way, for the most part: cleaning out my knapsack. usually i can make it about a week before i reorganize my bag. when i'm in a hurry, i shove everything in, always, without any rhyme or reason. i'm not normally in such a hurry, so it delays the reorganization. but every day for the last week plus, i've stayed in a hurry. usually, it will be a week before things are no longer in their compartments, i can't find things i need, and money is all over the place, loose in every compartment, so that when i take something out, usually a bill will fall on the ground. sometimes i wonder if someone just follows me around to pick up all the things i drop when i'm spaced out and walking. but the big compartment in the bag becomes a catchall.

this week, after one day, i couldn't find anything. and out of frustration, i dumped my entire bag on the floor to reorganize it. i put everything where it made most sense to me, access-wise. and went to work. when i got home from work, i couldn't find my work phone. and i was digging in all the pockets. i could not find it.

so i dumped my bag on the couch to find it.

i've done this every single day this week. it's like, on a daily basis, i just cram shit wherever i can find room, and don't think about the fact that i might need to find it later. it sucks.

i'm a fucking MESS. and my car? ugh.

i have cleaned it out three days this week, because i spent every day this week driving to delaware and running work errands, and house errands. repeatedly trashing my car.

the problem with all this reorganizing is that i feel this need to do it before i can focus on something else. when i went to the office on tuesday (day two of three), i dumped my bag in the floor to find all of the deposit tickets and printouts i needed for my paperwork. usually, i have all of them in one bag, clipped. there is no digging necessary. but instead of getting them out and working on it, i dumped and organized my bag at the office so i could focus on work.

this is something new to me. i'm usually pretty adept at working through an organized mess. i usually know where everything is. but it feels like i'm doing so much, so quickly, that i can't remember what i did. i keep finding things in places i don't remember putting them. making me wonder if there's also a little gnome following me and moving all my shit around so i can't find it.

joking. i'm not THAT crazy.

but i digress....

twice, in the last week, i've been on my way, walking to my car from the store, only to realize that my keys are back in the store. it's ridiculous. i've been working at this store for what, two years now? i have never left my keys before. other people have. and one of the first things i told aubree when she started working there was to always check for her keys before she leaves for the car.

and i guess i'm just so distracted by my thoughts that i am not able to do the little mental checklist before leaving the store. if i have my phone and headphones and cigarettes and lighter, it's all good. who needs keys?

what this whole week feels like, is how the house used to overwhelm me. i would let little things pile up for weeks, and then decide to put things back together, and get overwhelmed at the size of the task. and i'd have a hard time powering through it. and give up pretty often. and take lots of smoke breaks.

but this week, it's about work. there are all these little loose ends that have been pushed off and pushed off. kenna isn't calling me like she says she will, so i'm not (as) motivated to stay on task and take care of shit.

but i realized, 'holy shit! i'm going to florida for two and a half weeks. i have a lot to do before i go...'

so i spent every day this week doing all of those things. three days in delaware.

i have also become increasingly impatient. instead of waiting for things to happen, or letting other people do what i need them to do. and it translates to driving. aubree has been pointing out that i've been driving worse. she started saying,'pump the brakes' when it's time to slow down to stop. and after that, i started to realize it was happening when i was driving alone. and more often. especially because i have been driving more, it's been happening more. i think it's related to the whole multitasking/focusing thing. my mind is wandering while i'm driving, and i come back to the road, and have to hit the brakes harder to stop in time. it's kindof scary.

spending all of the time in the car also has given me more time to think, and listen to music. and, reminiscent of other times in my life, too, i keep finding myself thinking, 'this is my best mix EVER!' most of the time, when i finally finish one, that's how i feel about it. but this one makes me want to say, 'really, though. seriously? the BEST.'

and it's troublesome to me because i'll probably not feel that way in another week or so. and so it feels a little inflated. and i've done the same thing/said the same thing about my writing. the initial post [on my new blog] was 'the best post i've written', and before that, the last post on cwsr was 'the best post i've written'.

how can every post be the longest post? and the best post? i feel like the length of the posts are also indicative of a problem. because at first, i just thought i hadn't written in a while, so i didn't think anything of it. like, i was just catching up.

but it's the same way i've been in my daily life. talking more, thinking more, doing more. and your eyes will tell you that it's happening in my writing, too. the only thing that makes me okay with it is that i'm not repeating things i've said before. it all feels new. which makes writing it out feel that much better. getting it out of my system. processing. the usual.

and in the mix, i figured out that dan has been stealing, so i had to talk to security and watch footage to try to catch him. so add that to the loose ends list.

after hectic days spent driving through a tank and a half of gas, all the loose ends are tied, and dan is fired.

and somehow, i feel like a dog on a scent. sniffing out anything else that i forgot before i leave, trying to think of everything.

i've been having an impossible time focusing, multitasking, doing simple math i do on a daily basis. to the extent of stopping somewhere, just to do one thing at a time. stop the car in the parking lot to organize my bag. wait until i'm parked to do my books. stop the car to use the phone. stop mid-step to text.

more frequently, i'll get into trouble with counting money. it's such an easy task for me, and i excel at mental math. it's something i've always naturally been good at. but when i got on lexapro, it was a problem for a few days, and since i've cut back the dose, the first few days were spent counting and recounting, when adding up deposits, and using a calculator for simple math, because i became aware that i couldn't trust myself.

it's strange. i pride myself in my ability to multitask. and WELL. so this is something that doesn't make any sense to me.

one of the biggest, most pervasive changes for me is both work and life related. before meds, i worried so much that i never forgot anything. once i was able to deal with taking care of what i was worrying about, as opposed to not dealing with things and worrying endlessly, my life improved drastically. then i wasn't worrying, and just knowing what i needed to do. there were about three months, post medication, where i was completely on point with doing everything. but then, in the last few weeks, i switched to not caring. and not being able to focus. and it meant that i let things slide and pile up, without the repercussion of having an overwhelmed feeling to bring me back to reality and make me do the things i need to do.

realizing it was happening made me make lists. and lists and lists and lists. but i'd forget to put things on the list, getting distracted, and forgetting to do really important shit.

it reminds me of the 75 item list of all the things greg and i planned to do together, which was the last time i was living in list land.

i'm getting back to the point where i'm actively dealing with my lists on a daily basis, several times a day, because i became aware that i needed to do it to make it through a day. but because i've been trying to do all the things, the lists are out of control.

it will be intersting to see what happens when i'm home, and when i come back. because i forced myself to take care of everything before i leave town. i hope i don't spend my vacation making lists of things i can't take care of, due to being away from here. time will tell...

when i stopped caring about work again for a minute there, i actually overslept one day. my sleep has been so off, with being up so late at night, that it finally resulted in affecting the job i do. i was so tired, i turned off the alarm in my sleep and woke up an hour later than i needed to.

the last time i overslept for work was almost a year ago, and not my fault. it was the day i threw away my alarm clock, because i had set it correctly, and it didn't go off. i started using my trusty phone after that.

this post has taken forever to write. the cliff notes assured me that i wouldn't leave anything out, but like me, they were so scattered and unrelated it took almost as long to organize this post as it did to actually write the shit out.

will this feeling go away? i don't want to take this drug:


i don't want to have this diagnosis:


but in light of everything i just posted here, i feel like i definitely fit the criteria for the hypomania diagnosis.

each of you has commented or asked me if i think shrink is right, if i believe that what she said is accurate, or if what she told me is incorrect.

and my biggest fear right now is that she is right.

i wrote out all of this as a way to track how i've been feeling, and to explain to each of you why i believe her.

the only thing i'm taking comfort in is that i am already feeling better. day six of half dose was only slightly speedy, and i forced myself to not do everything for the second party, and listened to kim about just relaxing. and today i feel normal.

whatever that means...

an explanation. feb 4th.

i started a new blog, where i've been writing since my birthday in december.

i am going to slowly post some of the things here.

i just needed a fresh start, and a little privacy.

the first thing i'm posting is from the week of my birthday, when i was diagnosed as bipolar two on a shrink visit.

i didn't necessarily want to write about it here, but now that i've come to the determination that it is true and accurate, i'm sharing it here.

hopefully i haven't lost the people who have been reading cwsr for so long. i just needed to start over.

so here is the first post...