Ever get annoyed? Ever feel like someone needs to be told where the dog died? Or handed a crowbar and a tub of Elbow Grease to help them pry their head out of their arse? Congratulations--you've come to the right place.

And when I'm not commenting on the latest thing to piss me off, I'm trying to figure out my own twisted life. Because, hey, I'm like that.

On a gentler note: for anyone dealing with depression, anxiety, and other assorted bullshit: You are NOT alone.

And if you're looking for a laugh, search on the key word "fuckery." It's just my little thing (as the bishop said to the actress).

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Shooting the Black Dog, Part 5 - WHY WON'T THE BASTARD DIE?!?!

If you are someone like me who has dealt with some form of brain-chemistry based depressive/anxiety disorder for most of their life, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

You take the meds. You go to therapy. You watch yourself CONSTANTLY, you monitor, monitor, monitor... and sneaky bastard STILL manages to get in and dig up your garden. Or piss on your oriental carpet. Or hump the purebred next door. Whatever "naughty dog" metaphor you want to use, the bastard still sneaks back in and fucks up your life.

The dog metaphor is a good one, too, for this, especially for someone like me who has a love/hate relationship with the hairy, crotch-sniffing barking lunatics (the problem of using all-natural, yummy-smelling Lush products--I smell good not only to human males, but also to their canine counterparts). See, on the one hand, I hate dogs in general--y'know, the ones that never stop yapping, the stinky, needy ones, the ones that are so vicious they'll rip your arm off before you can put a bullet through their elephant-thick skull... Y'know, the Cujos and Big Fidos of the world. Because, on the other side of the canine coin, there are the Ebbies, Rock Stars, Rubies, and Sashas (I miss that dog; she was fucking brilliant and the best--nothing like a huskey you can share a coffee and banana bread with)--still a bit needy, still hairy, but really awesome to have around. Still need to be taken for walkies regularly and shit like there's no tomorrow, but still... an enhancement to life.

Bipolar is like that; ditto, PTSD. I was trying to explain this to a dear friend the other night, the friend who has been sort of avoiding my company because she's non-confrontational and I have been a manic pain in the arse of late--needy, moodswinging, stress bunny. There IS a positive side to both of these disorders, the one I was born with and the one inflicted upon me.

See, bipolar provides the manic performing part of me--the insane creative genius who can write 15,000 words in 48 hours while working full-time; throw herself up on a stage in front of a room full of strangers and riff for eleven minutes without batting an eye; emcee an event and have people laughing or weeping, depending upon what's called for; reach out to someone in pain and offer them solace, or at least some empathy.

The positive side of PTSD? Yep, there is one, but you have to let yourself be open to it. Here's the secret: the good stuff flashes back too.

Yeah, you read that right: the good stuff comes back, too. It's why I can feel so much joy in a moment: every other time I've felt that level of happiness triggers the pleasure center of my brain, the same way the bad stuff triggers the fear center. It's why sex is so utterly intense for me--I can have an orgasm that lasts, in little bursts, for hours. Happened the last time I was with someone--sitting on a rock on the beach, smoking up, and suddenly, I was trembling--call it an "aftershock." It's really fucking cool. It's also what powers some of my best writing--I can go to those places, walk the paths of cognitive and sense memory, and evoke the moment.

The problem is the crash afterwards. These chemicals, the brain chemicals involved in the pleasure part of all this, in cases of mania, don't have a shut-off valve, or the meter that triggers the shut-off switch attached to the valve is faulty. (I'm using mechanical terms because that's the only way I can understand how it works.) If I'm "normal," then I feel things pretty much like everyone else does, but a little more intense. Actually, "Riz Normal" is everyone else at +4 intensity. "Riz OK" is more like a +6--that's when I'm at my creative best; "Riz Not OK" +8--that's when I'm shouting and ready to throw things because my brain is moving too fast and everything is distorted--good, bad, indifferent, it's all aimed at me and Out To Get ME; "Riz-Find-a-Fall-Out-Shelter" is +11--that's when I'm on the edge of checking out.

Last weekend I was definitely +8 to 10. I had an hour or three of +11 (yes, that IS a bad Spinal Tap joke there). When a confrontation-hating friend comes out and tells me that I've been manic and then two other confrontation-hating friends confirm it... *sigh* It means it's back.

Bipolar is like that. It's such a vicious bitch of a disorder--it CAN come and go, depending on the state of your body, and because it can't be officially diagnosed/pinpointed, because there's no blood test and there are a myriad of factors--biological as well as environmental--PLUS there are other disorders and diseases that can MIMIC it...

Shit, I wish I was joking. At first, I thought it was thyroid, but my thyroid has (allegedly) stabilized. I still want it retested (yes, I will allow them to stick a needle in me again in less than two months, *shudder*), partly because I am stupid and have hope, partly because I know how sneaky my thyroid can be. Stress is factoring in--I have never, EVER been as stressed out as I am at the moment, not even during the horrible high school years, not even while I was married. Then, I had a partner in madness and was too young, stupid and thick to get what was going on. I was loved and had hope, even though I knew he was going to kill me. Stupid, but true.

I feel so pulled apart right now--remember those stupid Stretch Armstrong dolls? I feel like one of those with four people pulling on my limbs in different directions--gotta finish the rewrite, gotta finish the first draft, gotta make stuff for etsy, gotta clean out the house, gotta help Ma, gotta read this, gotta get the job done, gotta get the SRAC stuff done, gotta gotta gotta gotta gotta...


And honestly, all I want to do right now is go home and curl up with Piddy (whose vet informed me has kidney disease; luckily, just the very, very beginnings, so she may see 20 yet in good health), listen to her purr against my heart and fall asleep in the warm dark under the blankets. I don't even want to watch movies or read or *gasp* watch Alcoholocaust again. I know, I know, don't die of shock. My celebricrushing has not waned, I'm just that fucking worn out that even Jim couldn't rouse more than a giggle and a nipple to half mast right now. Shit, I'm so emotionally exhausted I don't if the real thing, naked, horny and waiting in the bed could get more than a wan grin and a "let's just cuddle zzzzzzzzzzz" right now. I'd even turn down the real life Hal Randall.*

The problem is, when I get home, it will be, "AREN'T YOU GOING TO DROP OFF MY LAUNDRY?!?! I NEED CLEAN CLOTHES!!!!" And then, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" And the Idiot will find a reason to come slamming around downstairs, knocking shit over and swearing at me (or near me--he doesn't dare swear directly at me). Before that, however, I have to get some coffee and get to my writing group. And sometime around 1:00 a.m. , Potential Paramour will send an IM to my phone looking for IM sex, despite the fact he hasn't gotten any of that from me since September. (Evidently, I give awesome IM sex. Who knew that was a talent? Although, considering a male friend's reaction to the sex scene I wrote yesterday... a pity the porn industry has changed so radically. There was a time when you could make money from writing great porn. Damn you, interwebs! Although I shouldn't complain--I like a free, hot wank as much as the next person. More, probably.)

*slams head on the desk* And I wonder why I'm depressed.

And there goes my memory again. Another one of the factors involved that could either be a trigger or a masquerading symptom: I'm pretty well convinced I'm working in a sick building. Four sinus infections in ten months, plus the return of my migraines (and now no longer limited to PMS, but happening all month long)... PLUS the building is full of asbestos (abatement's been here every time there's had to be any construction), an office down the hall keeps flooding, the ductwork is disgustingly filthy, and we won't discuss the strange smells that keep arising. That, and the stress involved in this job at the moment... yeah. Suddenly, being a phone sex operator doesn't sound so awful.

Waiter, may I have a new life, please? This isn't the one I ordered.

Fuck it, I'm getting coffee and going home. I need sleep and a heating pad on my back.

No, I'm not. I'm going to writing group and suffer like everyone else.

G'night, kids. Be kind to each other.
Your Manic Exhausted Empress

*Rebecca's boyfriend in the Kinsale Chronicles. He's modeled on an ex.

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