Tag Archives: Mountain Goats

I’m Not On Actual Drugs

I’m all hyped up and restless I don’t really know what to do with myself right now (except for this, obviously). I overslept so I should be really tired ’cause that’s usually what happens. We took one of our cats to the animal hospital today. She’s having surgery on her leg to alleviate the super painful bone-on-bone situation that’s the result of a badly healed broken femur. She’s gonna be there overnight so we had time to arrange what I’m calling her “apartment” because she needs to be kept in a large dog crate for a little while while she’s healing so she doesn’t move around too much. They’re actually cutting out a hunk of bone and letting the tendons and muscles grow into the space where the bone was. It sounds really grisly, but apparently this is a really common procedure. It’s like the wisdom teeth pulling of cat surgery but with a longer recovery time.

So my husband went out to the suburbs to play hockey with the dudes he plays hockey with. I immediately got busy setting up this gigantic dog crate and arranging it and filling it with all the comforts of home and I got it all done pretty quickly and without injuring myself which is kind of a miracle or something because the crate weighs a ton and I made plentiful use of the box cutter my friend accidentally left here last week. I wouldn’t call my pace frenetic, but it was certainly swifter than I typically operate. It looks great. I wish I was an opiate-loaded cat lounging in the super comfy space I made for Artie.

Then I started cleaning which is something I almost never do and that seemed to speed me up even more. My body feels like it’s vibrating. It’s not an unfamiliar feeling, it’s just that this is a sensation I tend to experience when I’m really, really angry or I’ve just had a panic attack. I took some Klonopin. Not more than I usually take. Maybe I should take more than I usually take. I mean, this is the exact feeling it’s supposed to alleviate. Well, this and some other things. I don’t feel particularly happy. I’ve been listening to that new Mountain Goats album on repeat. It’s not especially long or anything, so I’ve gotten through it like maybe 4 times. The last couple times I turned it off before the last track, “Hair Match” because it’s really vivid and disturbing and if you don’t know what a hair match is, look it up at your peril ’cause a rough watch.

NAP is coming over in a few minutes. That’s probably a good thing. I was invited to hang out with some friends tonight but I need to mellow out seriously because right now I don’t think I’m quite fit for conversation. Everything feels like a rockslide. (Everything feels like a rockslide?) I keep biting my lips like a tic or something. This is a habit I formed when I used to take speedy drugs a lot, specifically cocaine and Adderall. Adderall is like the most joyless drug ever invented. “Flat affect” is usually listed as a side-effect and it definitely happens to me. I think my wiring got a sorta tangled because when I’m feeling a little hypomanic (which is probably what’s going on with me right now) I do some of the things I habitually did when I was high, specifically the lip biting and tapping my foot. I think my brain thinks I’m on drugs. Or my brain makes its own drugs? I mean it does. Everyone’s does.

Ruh roh. I just saw a cop knock on my neighbors’ door. No one answered. He’s leaving. If it’s that same deal with the dude who used to live in my house that the police are still looking for, I’d rather not answer the door while I’m on brain drugs ’cause I suspect I look like I’m on actual drugs.

Boy, this post sure is meandering. Meandering feels like the wrong word. Too leisurely. I’m…centrifuging? Y’know what’s making this worse? This song:

I keep telling my husband that I’m gonna leave him for Thao one day. I say shit like that a lot. I’m starting to suspect that it’s not very nice of me to do that. He doesn’t usually say shit like that to me. I feel like this should be tit for tat, but it’s not. Very frequently I wonder what it’s like to be singlemindedly in love with just one person. I love the fuck out of my husband, but like, married, not buried ‘n shit, y’know? I’ve only ever cheated on one person in my entire life and it was when I was 15 and I got drunk for the first time and I made out with this older chick…like on a table or something. Then, later that night, after lying about where we were staying, my friend and I crashed at some guy’s house and I got felt up on a couch by this other dude. He’s a really nice dude, but when you’re 15, letting another guy get his hands on your tits is a pretty big deal. So I dumped my then-boyfriend out of guilt. I’m not super worried about cheating on my husband with a woman I’ve never met who lives on the other side of the country and might be straight anyway. OH MY GOD I AM OVERTHINKING THIS LIKE FOR REAL. Laura.

Wait a sec, I gotta pee.

I recognize that you likely did not wait a sec for me to pee and just kept reading, but if you did wait for me…thanks? It was a really satisfying pee. Like just in case you’re concerned about that shit. In which case, thanks again, I guess.

So NAP is here and and we’re gonna hang and, as the Fates would have it, sing along to Biz Markie because that’s what shuffle landed on, so I’m gonna stop typing things I will, in all likelihood regret having shared with you all sometime within the next 24 hours. Or not. I can’t always predict what I’ll regret and what I won’t. It’s what keeps things spicy.

-LB

Oh Good, More Learning

So, as stated last post, I’m down to one session of therapy a week and it’s been a rough transition. I wanna say it’s been a surprisingly rough transition, but that’s not true because I knew it’d be hard and I just decided to ignore that reality. It’s hard. I hate it.

I had a little meltdown the night before last. I’d cut my hair that day. Which is to say that, deviating from my typical habit, I let a professional cut my hair. Like someone with many years of training and experience and very likely some kind of degree or certification in this shit. It’s short. Like just past my chin. I like it because I have to. I also like it because it’s cute. There was a dive bar on the first floor of the building where I got my hair cut. I asked the receptionist if it was a decent place to grab a drink and she said it was nothing fancy, but it was fine. I don’t know why I felt like having a drink. I mean I probably do know. It was probably because I lopped off like 5 inches of my hair after ~3 years of telling myself I was gonna let it grow out to an unreasonable, mermaid-like length. So I got a drink. I forgot that it was only 4:30ish so the bar was pretty empty except for the sweetest bartender ever and 2 middle-aged regulars. So I started talking to these guys about the mayoral election we’d all voted in earlier that day (my candidate lost). We talked about past mayors, political dynasties, school closings, citywide ethnic segregation, the mismanagement of public funds, the political machine of the good old days, the political machine of today. The word “reluctant” got used a lot. So did “the lesser of two evils”. This is the vocabulary of my hometown. We only get truly pissed off here when so many people get thrown under the bus that the bus can no longer run.

I get a little defensive of my intellect and my opinion when I have to deal with men who are older than I am. These dudes were actually really cool about not treating me like I’m 9. They asked me what I thought about the leadership of a mayor who left office before I was even born. At some point Nazis came up (like they do). One of these dudes was born in Argentina, so that took an interesting turn. I was having a really good time. I kept ordering beers. At one point, the bartender stopped charging me. Or I stopped paying. It’s not really clear. Since I can’t even remember the last time I got legitimately drunk before this, my tolerance, as you can imagine, was/is pretty fucking low. It got dark out, and I remembered I had to run an errand on the way home that required me to carry approx. 15lbs of stuff on the bus…a ream of printer paper, half a gallon of soy milk, baby food so my cat will actually take her meds, contact solution, stuff that drunk people shouldn’t heft on public trans. So I cheerily left the bar and the nice people I’d met (which were in a neighborhood I almost never visit) and got on a bus headed somewhere and hopped off when I spotted a drug store. I had a list with me. I could only find 3 of the things on my list before I gave up because I was walking into shit. I put on my best “sober” face and, in my best “sober” voice, paid for my purchases and went looking for a bus line I actually knew how to navigate, which I found without much difficulty because it was right the fuck there the whole time and I can get myself lost walking around the damned block, so, as one might conclude, it’s even funnier and probably more hazardous when I’m three sheets.

So, I’m certain I’ve mentioned this before, but being drunk while bipolar is often a little different than being drunk without a mental illness. To begin with, when that first wave of booziness hits me, I start to talk loud and fast. I get tons of energy and I want to chat with everyone. I like meeting strangers anyway, so meeting strangers when I’m drunk is even easier. I get temporarily a little hypomanic. That overly spirited sense of wellbeing and invincibility, though, almost always takes a freaky turn like 4 or 5 hours in to my drunkenness. While on the right bus, I started to feel very intensely about EVERYTHING. I texted my sister saying:

Right now I simultaneously feel like the most brilliant thing that ever lived and like I wanna die right this sec.

Which is the kind of thing that sparks alarm in most rational people. It’s also one of the reasons I don’t drive. Me behind the wheel is fine until it’s not. And it can turn into not on a dime, even though I feel very strongly about not driving drunk (don’t drive drunk. I was hit by a drunk driver when I was 5 and it FUCKING SUCKED. Don’t drive drunk). Anyway, my sister, several states away, was pretty concerned for my safety. I don’t know why I wanted to die. I felt high as a kite. I was pretty euphoric. Maybe too euphoric. There was so much going on inside my head that I think I thought, at the time, the only logical culmination to all this out of control effervescence was a big, glorious death. This is the kind of shit that makes total sense to me when I’m not in my right mind. Everything becomes gigantic.

The second part of this nonsense is probably the least flattering. I got my sister on the phone when I got into the house. I started crying and screaming and I absolutely cannot remember what I was upset about. I asked her, later, not to tell me because I think I’d rather not know, and, anyway, if I thought about it hard enough, I could probably just guess. She calmed me down, convinced me to take some Klonopin (see LBD: benzodiazepines) which I’d neglected to do at my scheduled time because I was busy knocking back Dogfish and discussing Nazi war criminals’ flight to South America with strange men. And by now, my pretty haircut was a masterful shitshow because I kept twisting and ruffling it frantically and I cried all of my makeup down to the wrong parts of my face and I was probably waxing wistful about everything I never did or won’t do or never knew I wanted to do until right that second and OH MY GOD my sister is a hero. But eventually I stopped crying and took my meds and got off the phone with my sister and texted my husband to come home.

My husband arrived just in time for part three which is, primarily, me despairing repetitively in barely audible monotone. I can’t remember if I was still drunk, which means I probably kind of was, but my thoughts followed a very logical if utterly unsound sequence. I used a lot of $10 words which is a thing I do when I feel like I have nothing else. And also because words make me feel better. I did that thing I always do where I took stock of my life and denigrated all of it as folly after mishap after plummet. The how-did-I-get-here-I-hate-my-life shit I do is pretty unfair to my husband seeing as he’s one of the biggest parts of my life. I punished myself, as usual (hi, Catholic upbringing!) for not taking pristine care of myself and for having the nerve to share a few drinks and good conversation with some new people (or, as I framed it: being reckless, getting drunk, putting myself in danger and then crying about it when, SURPRISE! I didn’t feel fantastic for having done those things). The point I kept harping on was that I know better (than what? was never clearly defined but it was probably that I know better than to get that drunk, though there was a strong implication that I should know better than to have such loud feelings, shame on me). I do know better, though. I can’t believe I actually got home that night. I can’t believe I didn’t puke. I considered the migraine I developed as I slowly sobered up over the course of the next few hours my just deserts. And then down and then more down and then downer and then at some point Laura passes out.

I was really sick, both in my head and my guts the next morning. I hadn’t slept very well that night and I was tossing so much much between 3:30 and 5:30 that I went to the guest room so I’d stop bothering my husband and I watched a nature documentary, drifting in and out of shallow sleep until the stupid sun came up and once the sun is up, I have a really hard time staying asleep, even if I’m really tired. Which I was. I was tired and headachey and sick to my stomach most of the morning, which was really a drop in the bucket because I was super fucking preoccupied with shame and self-loathing. Quite frankly, I’m not sure what happened or what I did wrong. I know I drank more than I should have, but beyond that, there was nothing that triggered my weird mood shift or my crying or my self-pitying. I know for sure that my self-flagellation was extremely disproportionate to my actions (oh hey, Catholic childhood, you’re still here…). I know that Silver Linings Laura would try to appreciate this shit as a learning experience rather than waste an entire day in my jammies watching cartoons and trying to rehydrate while questioning whether or not I even deserved water.

One of the things I find really frustrating about this situation is that, as far as these things go, I have pretty successfully treated bipolar. I haven’t had a serious episode in at least a year. I’m comfortable (for the most part) with my meds, I was starting to make some really good headway in therapy about non-bipolar shit that anyone would need therapy to deal with (dream-destroying mom, years and years of child abuse, dad dying way too early). Over the past year, I’ve been able to congratulate myself more than a few times for finally seeing the actions I’ve taken to make myself better come to fruition. But I won’t allow myself a single slip up. I’m too rigid for that. It’s definitely worth noting that, had this course of events taken place 2 or 3 years ago, I would’ve done more than just cry and pity myself. I would probably have had a full-blown panic attack and I very likely would have self-harmed. But I don’t think about progress that way. I don’t know why. After all the work I’ve done, I sure as hell should.

So, today, I feel fine. Good, even. I had a nice conversation with my sister about what to name her new kitten. I managed to erase my sleep deficit. I’m going grocery shopping later (not a huge deal, but at least it’s productive). And I have every intention of doing many pushups later to make up for not having MMA class last Sunday. Oh yeah, and I finally got my copy of the new Mountain Goats album in the mail (which I stupidly ordered in disc form for some fucking reason, but who the fuck cares because I am STOKED). So, I know it’s almost 2:30, but I’m at least going to try to make this a good day. Wish me luck.

-LB

ETA: I’m no longer regretting my choice of ordering a CD ’cause that shit came with a kickass poster and fucking STICKERS. Killer.