Mood Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified

diagnosed bipolar and pissed about it

Category: Bitter party of one

fuck lithium

hey y’all.  :: waves ::

sorry i haven’t written.  i’ve been busy emulating super woman.  i don’t mean to boast (but i’m going to do it anyway), but in the last week-ish, i graded 195 essay questions, 65 participation assignments (also essay), submitted abstracts to three conferences, and finished part 2 of a manuscript that is now about 50 pages (with an easy 10 more coming before it’s done), ran 12 miles, went grocery shopping, bulk cooked, and re-watched all episodes of the walking dead.  on top of a 4 day trip to california, where i drank lots of wonderful champagne and IPA.  i feel like a million bucks.

i haven’t been this successfully productive in a very long time, but i have been working hard to get life back in order.  including losing the 20 (!) lbs i gained while taking lithium.  i’ve been working on it since january 2.  with few results.

lithium weight is now my arch nemesis.

to be fair, i was estimating a rate of success based on my experience 2 (short…sniff) years ago, when the south beach diet took 12 lbs off my frame in a month.  it was magical.  it was fantastical.  it was the most rewarding experience EVER.

i did the same thing starting at the beginning of january, and the scale Did. Not. Budge.  i considered the possibility that one night every week or two, going out to drink might have been the culprit.  but not with the restricted diet i was on!  there’s no way!  i started incorporating exercise (which i did NOT, i repeat, did NOT have to do before).  still nothing.

i refuse to accept the possibility that “aging” is a factor.  it was two years ago for fuck’s sake.

then i had to get an emergency root canal and follow up surgery, and being high on percocet is not conducive to a healthy lifestyle.  i got in some solid hours on far cry 3 though.  (ah-may-zing!).

so, here i am.  it’s mid-march.  i’m none-the-lighter.  i’m ready to pull my hair out.

when visiting my family in california, i felt like the fucking michelin man.  my 50-year old mother kicked my ass on a 5 mile run.  yeah, that awkward moment.  over half of the pictures we took are banned from the public because i look like a fatty mcfatfat.

there’s nothing to do but try again.  with vengeance.  and if this shit doesn’t start coming off quick status i am going to blow a gasket at my next pdoc appointment.  i am going to send the dab who coerced me to take it hate mail.

the worst part of all of this is… i can’t even console myself with cookies and milk.

the fat suit

i’ve been gaining weight since i started taking lithium in may.  7 months later and i am wearing a full blown fat suit, with 20 lbs added on my frame.  most of my clothes don’t fit and i’m uncomfortable in my skin.  in order to feel sexy, i have to get completely decked out; otherwise, forget about it.  i don’t want to take pictures and i refuse to have some people see me like this.

i’m really disgusted with myself, and in order to make any changes, i have to dedicate time and energy to implementing my no sugar-no flour diet.  i haven’t had the time or space to do that, and i won’t really for another few weeks.  in the mean time, i keep punishing myself with food, which feeds further into the disgust and the cycle gets worse.

i’m down to one pair of jeans…from two only a few weeks ago.  a pair of shorts that fit me two weeks ago is strained over my waist and thighs now (in fairness, i made the mistake of putting them in the dryer rather than air drying them like usual).

this extra weight is not just physical.  it’s emotionally heavy too, and i feel pretty low all the time because of it.  i can sense it all the time, and it’s this constant burden in the back (or often, in the forefront) of my mind.

interestingly, despite perceiving myself as an utter failure, lard-ass, fat, disgusting pig, other people do not seem to share this opinion.  i’ve had people expressing interest in me without fail any time i go out.  strangely this even happens when i’m not all decked out.  unfortunately, because of my self-perception, i’m less inclined to reciprocate anything.

it’s been an exercise in self-compassion.  i gave myself the semester to get back into functional mode, and swore i would deal with the fat when i had successfully returned to something resembling normality.  i often have to remind myself that i have permission to be this way, that a lot of factors influenced where i am now, many of which were out of my control, and that it’s acceptable, given what i’ve been through this year.

but i can’t lie.  i will cry tears of joy as i shed this weight.  as the constant feeling of fatness wanes and as i am able to fit into my clothes again.  as i feel increasingly comfortable in social situations and in less and less clothing.  as my sex drive increases with every pound lost and i’m happy to be naked and free, and comfortable at the prospect of actually having sex–on top, with the lights on, for as long as i like.

it will take work.  i have to plan out meals for every day over a span of about 2 months (my estimate of how long it will take to get back to my old weight), go grocery shopping regularly and prepare and freeze meals, not drink or go out to eat, and get regular exercise.  once i get back into it, it will come off easily.  last year i lost 16 lbs in a month and a half or less using this exact regimen.  it was a glorious, unbelievable experience and i’m looking forward to doing it again.

and again, i’ll promise myself that i will never get like this again.  it’s just that this time, i’m much more aware of the factors that lead me to gain weight.  lithium, for one.  depression, for two. if i can moderate or eliminate those factors, then i should be able to keep my promise.

my primary goal is to remain emotionally stable, which is one reason i’m taking a vacation from dating.  besides the fact that i’m fat and disgusting.  🙂

hear me raaaaaaaawwwwwwr

godzilla is making a cameo.

i am one angry puppy today.  i woke up irritable as all hell and just got angrier.  i went to class, counting on teaching about sex to get me out of my own head.  it worked, a little.

i’ve been trying to turn my day around.  you know, get the bigger picture and become aware that my perceptions are being limited by my emotions so get a bigger perspective and all that.

my secret bag of tricks includes working on teaching-related activities.  teaching makes me happy.  my animal behavior class is my labor of love.  so i’m doing good and grading my students’ work.  happily along.  feeling accomplished when they appear to be engaging with the materials.

and then i come across this.  one of my students posted her concept map file with the title “another time-consuming concept map that does nothing to advance my understanding of this material”.

oh really?

here’s why i’m pissed (and doubly so because i was already fucking moody as hell).  for the entire first half of the class, i offered them the opportunity to give me feedback about assignments and materials every week. in which, by the way, this student has never participated.

it’s one thing to have a complaint about a class.  students will always have complaints, some more useful than others.  but posting that kind of feedback to an online public forum for both me and other students to see?  that’s just fucking rude.

i guess i should be glad this is an online class.  i’ve got a virtual barrier between me and this kind of thing.

i’m taking a break from grading.  it’s better that way.  other students shouldn’t be penalized just because i’m on a war rampage.

i’ll try again tomorrow.


i have been more productive today than i have in a long time.  i woke up terrified and anxious due to nightmares, but in the interest of what my psychiatrist calls “self-soothing” i tried distracting myself with other activities.  it wasn’t hard, especially after i got an email from my landlord saying she’ll be by around 6.  6 when?  6 today?  6 Wednesday like she said?  i wrote back but received no response, so i canceled my appointments and put myself to work cleaning my house.  i barely scratched the surface but at least its manageable now.

i’m about to head over to the bank to get grilled by the employees because my confounded debit card did NOT come in the mail yet, and with my landlord breathing down my neck i’m going to see if i can withdraw funds anyway.  i’m feeling especially ambitious at the moment because i’m thinking a stop by the grocery store might be in the cards if i can keep this motivation up.

in any case, no time to blog about unfortunate events yet, so i thought i’d post some reflections i wrote in march.  they’re letters to myself and to XBF, and i’ll split them up into different posts.  you can see my paint is beginning to chip.

**NOTE: WordPress didn’t publish this for some reason so the reflections letters are out of order.  I included the date they were written in each post though.

March 13, 2012

Tuesday 1:23 am

I am tired of feeling like a piece of shit.  I feel like a piece of shit often these days, in response to your overwhelming hurt over something I’ve done.  But when I take a step back and evaluate myself, I do not actually think I am a piece of shit at all.  I’m proud of myself and how far I’ve come.  I do not mean to say that I am done growing or that I have not made mistakes; for sure I have plenty of growth left to accomplish.  But honestly, I am not the bad person that I feel you are making me out to be.

I appreciate that you have brought to my attention some of the negative consequences of my risk-taking behaviors.  In many cases, I had not recognized the consequences at all, and they were only apparent to me when you expressed concern about them.

At the same time, I am extremely uncomfortable with how much pressure you put on me to not do certain things.  I do not like the fact that if something I do stressed you out too much that you end up in the hospital.  I do not like that said behavior is shared with doctors and nurses at the hospital – where colleagues in my department intern.  I do not like that you are amused when I get stressed about your parents knowing certain things about me, and that you describe me in unfavorable ways.  I do not like that some of your friends hate my guts because you only talk to them when we’re fighting, and I especially don’t like that they would like to threaten me if they had the chance.

I am also finding myself increasingly angry that you pressure me about smoking/drinking/drugs when I see you wanting to get high, or taking a bunch of vicodin (even if you have TBI and a prescription), or tripping on Delsym.  It is starting to feel like you are a total hypocrite, accepting behaviors that are okay for you, and shitting on behaviors that aren’t.  Ultimately, how I choose to live is my choice and I am starting to hate that you judge me so much for my choices.  Do I judge and criticize you for being so self-absorbed that your risky behavior led to traumatic brain injury? Or that your obsession with working out brought about your heart problems?  Or that your risky driving behavior could have easily killed someone?  And that is just the stuff that I know about.

All day I felt shitty and depressed because you got upset about an event that happened last November.  Moreover, while I agree that it is never fun to hear that someone kissed the person you are dating, it should mean something that I got out of the situation.  Your narrow worldview and lack of experience leads you to think that this is completely unacceptable and a deal breaker.  Let’s pause for a second.  I got into two situations where someone tried to kiss me.  They may have landed a smooch but I got out of it, either by expressing my disinterest or letting the person know that I was seeing someone.  I would just like to say that LIFE FUCKING HAPPENS SOMETIMES.  Sometimes people don’t give you warning or you get yourself into a pickle that you find you need to get out of, immediately.  It happens.  Let’s also not forget that these events happened smack dab in the middle of my major depression experience, and that in both cases, I was extremely intoxicated.  Perhaps most importantly, I did not consider our “relationship” to be serious until January.  We agreed to be exclusive, and I accept that letting someone else kiss me betrays that agreement.  But given the brevity of the situation, and that I got out of it quickly, it didn’t even register on the radar when you asked me about cheating or kissing someone else in the past 6 months.  I have to say, if you decide that this is a “deal breaker” I am pretty sure I will conclude with “good riddance”.  Not because I don’t love you or because I don’t want to be with you.  I do on both counts.  But for fuck’s sake, just shortly over a month before the event in question you used my vagina for show and tell with your cousin.  My. Vagina.  VAGINA!!!  And you are concerned that someone tried to lay a smooch on me?  And I got out of it?  You just basically just treated my VAJAYJAY like public property, and now you’re all huffy because someone smooched me?  Are ya fucking kidding?

I don’t like that you are not talking to me, and ignoring me for something SO TRIVIAL AND LAME.  You get upset with me for leaving conflicts for FIVE MINUTES so I can take a breather and regroup.  You basically fall off for a day or more, holing up and telling anyone who will listen how badly I hurt you and implying how victimized you are.  You exaggerate situations and make them out to be worse than they are.  Some of your friends hate me, and you have led others to think I am a drug addict.

I am so tired that you focus so much on the negative aspects of things.  It does NOT bode well for our relationship.  Rather than acknowledging that the frequency of reckless behavior has decreased considerably, or that I have QUIT SMOKING, or that I have adjusted my lifestyle to be more stable and mellow, instead you are preoccupied with having done drugs a couple times, that I am completely reckless when I drink, that I am going to break up with you, etc.  I can’t tell if you are just completely terrified or if you really are complaining all the time.

I am reading a book right now on addiction and I feel like you fail to remember: “keep in mind, however, that severing a dependency on a substance will not happen alone or overnight. It can be a long process, especially if it has been a long-term habit. In fact, it is often the most painful, harrowing, and frightening transformative experience a person will ever go through in his or her entire life. Stopping can also be the most significant emotional decision you will ever make.  You do not acknowledge this.  You do not recognize my efforts.  You do not show support for what has been a tremendously difficult experience for me.  You don’t ask how I’m doing with it or cheer me on.  You have no idea how uncomfortable I am and the degree of excruciating pain I am in ALL THE TIME.  Or how bad the withdrawal symptoms have been.  I am doing this alone, without your support.  That is unacceptable.  And that I constantly feel like I’m failing you or our relationship, I am constantly putting the exact same kind of stress I try to escape when I drink or smoke.

I realize now that we have reached a precipice that must be addressed IMMEDIATELY.  We must come up with a solution that works for both of us, and establish a plan to build trust in our relationship as soon as possible.  We can not start a long distance relationship if our current relationship is fraught with mistrust and misgivings about each other.

excuses, excuses

i swear to fucking god.

i had just finished the last blog post and was getting ready to settle in to read a book about teaching and i made the fucking mistake of checking my email.  i don’t leave the house, how is this shit finding me???

i received the following email from my landlord:

A. Patient,

You realize that month after month when rent is late with a variety of excuses it doesn’t look real legitimate?……….It is amazing to me the kinds of excuses tenants can come up with.   I have gone through this with tenants who make really impressive excuses over and over and it’s really just a run around- they have issues that need to be resolved so they can be more accountable.  I am not willing to deal with this on an ongoing basis with you or any tenant.   So, I am advising you now that I am not going to renew your lease at the end of August, if you were intending to stay.  I just can’t have the unreliability.  So please plan to be out and have the unit cleaned entirely if you want your deposit back.  You never paid for the other dog fee and that’s sort of a moot point now.  I am anticipating that all is well inside.  I will do a final walk through with you ( or without you) upon move out  and within 2 weeks after you move out you will receive the refund deposit and if not the entire deposit there will be a list of what any charges are and the remainder will be mailed to the address you provide me.

I still need to deal with the water system, but I just have not had time.  I need to go over this week after 5 on probably Wed. to show the middle unit to some new tenants and I will email you ( since your phone number  and texting doesn’t work) for sure with the time and the dogs need to be contained.


my insensitive landlord


I was so in a decent mood too.  My mood score was up to 50%!  Suddenly I’m pissed off and totally activated.  I just wanted to go to bed!

Thankfully, I don’t have much of a filter these days, so I quickly shot back an email which was at least somewhat satisfying.

Dear insensitive landlord,

I understand your position and the reason you have it, but your conclusion is incorrect.  I have been dealing with a tremendous amount of stress this year including but not limited to being diagnosed with a chronic medical illness that is unpredictably debilitating and essentially leaves me disabled, my sister’s hospitalization after a suicide attempt, my dog being attacked by a coyote, my debit card information stolen.  The medical issue alone has forced me to reconsider many career and personal objectives.  This does not even include the work issues which are non-trivial.  I am happy to provide documentation for ANY of this.

It’s fine if you do not want to renew the lease with me; I would probably move anyway.  I am deeply offended that you didn’t bother to ASK what’s going on.  I understand you get enough BS to fill a football stadium but given my initial credentials, could you not have asked??  I am not responsible for the crap excuses other people have given you.

Wednesday is fine, just let me know.


A. Patient


I’m done for the day folks.  I will NOT be checking email or anything.  Instead, I’ll be waiting for the fucking airplane engine to come crashing through the ceiling.

just kidding y’all, i made it all up


it looks like my little 6 hour nap yesterday is going to have to take the place of sleep tonight.  i’m tired but my mind’s newest little hobby is beating dead horses.  quite good at it too, if i do say so myself.

the latest equine victim is a little piece of the conversation i had with XBF two nights ago.  mostly i’ve just trying to understand how XBF gets off saying these things without understanding his gross hypocrisy.  when i think about it, i throw up a little in my mouth.

it involved his response when i asked him to please just read the book after he was saying something about not knowing what to do or how to handle this.  i had already read through a good chunk of it, and it looked like it could give us a lot of guidance for how to deal with bipolar.  even if my second and third and fourth opinions come back saying i don’t have bipolar disorder, it’s still a great guide for helping couples deal with mood disorders.  and if i’m not bipolar, i have depression and anxiety and PTSD.  any way you cut it, the book would be useful.  besides, i fucking paid for it so he can’t even say that, as a Jew, it would be waste of money until we knew for sure (and he totally would say something like that, just to clarify).  on top of all that, he promised me he would read it because he would “do anything to help me feel less stressed”.

and now, all of the sudden, he refused to read it and wanted a few days to think about it.  what??  i had to get to the bottom of this one.  it’s just my nature.

if i hadn’t heard it myself, i wouldn’t have believed it if you told me.  he said, “it’s always something.  before you were just going to take antidepressants and then everything would be fine, and then you changed your meds and everything was supposed to be fine.  and now you’re going on lithium, and you just want me to read this book so everything will be fine.”

holy balls.

i am glad that i was emotional and confused because i would have RIPPED HIS FUCKING HEAD OFF if i had had my wits about me.

let’s recap, shall we?

sometime around last october, i realize i am depressed.  severely.  i have never been so depressed in my entire life.  i do my best to keep it together but none of my old tricks work.  finally, in december i go in to get help from Psych Services.  after a couple of weeks, i am put on Prozac. i specifically requested this one to increase my energy levels, which were abysmal.  XBF at the time didn’t mind because it meant i played a TON of video games with him.

unbeknownst to me, those really super good amazing feelings i was having once i started Prozac likely resulted from overactivation (which became one indicator my second psychiatrist used to diagnose bipolar 2). but i felt amazing!  i got so much done, it was great.  i also spent a shit ton of money.  boy was that therapeutic.  i’ve been fucked since but it was great at the time.  in any case, XBF had been expressing concerns about my smoking cigarettes, and i had wanted to try quitting again too.  after all, i am 29 and i wanted my body good and healthy for starting a family in 4 or so years (pfft).  since prozac had me feeling so great, i thought i’d give it a whirl.  so i went back to psychiatrist number 1, who prescribed me wellbutrin.

i started wellbutrin at the end of february and quit smoking on March 1.  however, after about 4 weeks, i noticed i was REALLY stimulated from both prozac and wellbutrin.  i was tense, uncomfortable, anxious, etc.  i had even noticed i was getting more anxious around XBF, and i became increasingly more scared and paranoid about long distance.  a few problems sprouted between us so i decided to go back to psychiatrist 1 to change something to reduce anxiety.

i had to stay on wellbutrin another 2-4 weeks so i had him switch me to zoloft so i wasn’t freaking out so much.  he also gave me valium for the interim.  then, i was fucking exhausted and sleeping all the time and THAT wouldn’t work either because i had work to do.  even not taking valium, i had a hard time staying awake.  so i went back AGAIN and the doc switched my wellbutrin to 3x a day, instant release tabs to get a little boost of energy.

as soon as i was done with the wellbutrin, i went BACK on Prozac because it had been so great before.  i couldn’t wait to be so productive again, and this time as a non-smoker!  around this time psychiatrist #1 moved to another state so i was introduced to psychiatrist #2, who immediately pegged me for bipolar 2.  it took me at least 3 weeks to think she might be right and even that was after i joined the blogging community and read so many stories that sounded like my own.  finally, i broke down and decided to take lithium because prozac wasn’t working on it’s own and the depression felt unbearable, so i was willing to try anything.  and that’s where i am now.  and i am trying to make sense of all this by joining the online community, and by finding resources for my friends and family and, i thought, my love.

so technically, yes he’s right.  i’m always trying something, and i always expect that it will make things better.

well, DUH!  that’s because i’m trying to get treatment to get better!!

i thought i was depressed so i took anti-depressants.  i switched them around to manage side effects.  i learned about the bipolar diagnosis so i sought out resources and finally decided to take the medication while ALSO making appointments for second and third opinions.  so will someone tell me WHAT THE FUCK THE PROBLEM IS?!

i mean, what he’s saying is the equivalent of me giving him shit for his last heart surgery because it was supposed to CURE his condition.  well it didn’t.  do i blame him for this?  of course not!  (because I’m not a DICK!)

so i guess he can’t be bothered to read through the book because according to him, it won’t solve anything.  because according to him, i am just doing all of this for fucking kicks.


how statistics can save your relationship

i remembered something i wanted to blahg about this morning which is a fucking miracle.  i haven’t been able to retrieve short term memories for almost a month now.  unless, of course, it’s fucking traumatic and then i can remember it just fine.  mostly.

you may have already read about my statistical analysis of the pros and cons from my last relationship.  indeed that is one way that statistics can help you make decisions when you find yourself lost in relationship fuckery confusion.  another way statistics can save your relationship is highly underutilized in my opinion.  it involves estimating the cost of being wrong.

no one likes to think they’re wrong.  of course, we’re all making decisions based on what we know at the time, right?  fair enough, but many of us don’t even leave any room for error.  and this can be a very, very grave mistake.

statistics helps us see what we cannot see with the plain eye, provided you know how to use them.  we can also use statistics to help us think about how to make decisions and what conclusions we can draw from those decisions.

say, for example, that you are XBF.  you have been thinking that you “doubt my doctor for prescribing me lithium, and me for taking it without a second opinion first”.  in other words, you doubt the possibility of me having this disorder.  and out of the kindness of your heart, you don’t want to “enable” me by providing support when i am “stressed in the middle of the night”.

so, you have a decision to make.  provide support or not.  in either case, you can be correct, or you can be wrong, and there is a possibility that you will NEVER KNOW whether you were correct or not.

in the case that you decide to provide support, and in reality I am in emotional distress and in need of support, then you have made the CORRECT decision.  everyone is happy, we all go home.  hooray.

on the other hand, you could decide to provide support, but the reality is I am overreacting (i guess is the implication?) and providing support will just fuel the fire.  In that case, your conclusion leads to a FALSE ALARM.  In statistics, we call this a Type I error and it’s the probability of concluding something is there (there is an effect, in stats lingo) when in fact it does not exist in reality (a population, in stats lingo).  so that is one possible error you could make.  and it may strain your relationship, especially depending on the number of times this has happened before.  but let’s say for the sake of this example that this is the first time you would be making such an error.

now, you can also decide NOT to provide support.  if you’ve decided this is the route you will take, and in reality I am overreacting, you have made the CORRECT choice.  assuming i am at least somewhat rational and level-headed, i will probably listen to what you have to say, quit whining, and knuckle up.

however, if you decide NOT to provide support, and the reality is that I am in emotional distress and in need of support, you have committed a Type II error, or a MISS.  In other words, you have failed to find something that is actually there.  now what have you done?  you have isolated someone you care about, broken trust, and increased emotional distress.  which blows for someone who has just been diagnosed with something like bipolar disorder which in itself is a disease that leaves its survivors more susceptible to STRESS.

so now:



i am pretty sure it doesn’t take graduate training in statistics to think about this shit.  i mean, i’m pretty sure i also would have erred on the side of caution.  i’m sure because that’s exactly what i DID do when XBF had health issues and i would take care of him for weeks at a time.

did i think he was being a big baby sometimes?  yes.

did i sometimes doubt his symptoms? sure.


because it was always more important for me to be there and be supportive and to encourage healthy behaviors that would result in fewer instances of his illnesses.  oh and one more reason…

because I’m not a DICK!


force field, my ass.

i feel like shit.  i’m sad, i want to cry, i just hurt.  i guess it was just my anger that buffered these feelings last night, not the lithium.  i knew it was too good to be true.

i felt angry all the way up until i read a blog that reminded me of something endearing about XBF, and then i felt the dam start to crack.  i was kind of surprised since, you know, i thought i was now made of teflon.  the familiar sting pierced my consciousness and now every moment is trying to find space around it in my mind.  unsuccessfully.

thankfully (?), the lithium makes me tired.  so tired that i came home from class and slept until 8pm.  i don’t think i will have trouble falling asleep soon either thankfully.  or maybe that’s the aching depression whose brief hiatus tricked me.  the sneaky son of a bitch.

don’t get me wrong. the short respite was welcome, but it’s kind of like pausing while getting a tattoo: before the break your skin developed a sense of numbness, which fades the longer of a break you take as nerve endings start to regain sensation…so starting up again hurts like a motherfucker.  the moral of the story, of course, is don’t take a freaking break while getting a tattoo.

speaking of tattoos, i find myself wanting to act out more and more because i’m pissed off about this diagnosis.  i envision myself as the young “sociopathic” inmate in girl, interrupted played by angelina jolie.  i mean fuck it, right?  my plans are shot.  even if i do find someone who would be willing to date me, i’m reading statistics that bipolars have a 90% divorce rate.  given my family history, i was already worried about a 50-60% divorce rate.  but 90%?  really?  and it only goes up if you have additional, comorbid disorders, which I do (PTSD).  so tell me, what is the fucking point?

on the other hand, maybe i will fulfill my polygamous dream of having a harem.  yes.  and i will call them by the day of the week.

“Monday!  Oh, Monday!  Where are you dear?  It’s almost Tuesday and I have company coming.  Shoo, shoo.”

Yeah.  That could work.

in a sense, i have more freedom because i’m not so restricted by what a potential mate will want.  e.g., now i have long, blonde locks, only a couple of tattoos and most of my “radical” piercings are gone.  i know my manners and how to hold a conversation (sometimes).  i know how to look classy but i’m flexible enough to fit in with people, ranging from the very poor to the very rich (although the latter do make me quite uncomfortable).  i’m educated and i’ve traveled and read lots.  all that crap.  and all for what?  because to be honest, i’ve been grooming myself for true love since i was a little girl.  so i don’t end up like them, so lonely and angry.  so i can create the family i always wanted.

now that that seems wiped off the menu, what now?  now i can just follow my “id”, right?  live for me because i’m pretty much going to be the one keeping myself company in this long haul.  i’m pretty sure my dogs don’t care if my nose is pierced or i have dip dyed the ends of my hair blue.  i can still look hot, i’ll just look counter culture hot and then i ward off most candidates anyway.  the serious ones, at least.

i can start smoking cigarettes again.  the shorter i have to spend living this fucked life the better.  might as well enjoy it while it lasts.

and don’t think i won’t test each and every one of those so-called boundaries with bipolar.  sleep the same time every night?  well what if i change the schedule by 2 hours?  4?  no drinking?  let’s see how many i can get away with.  i’ll exercise if i FEEL like it.  why do i want to treat this body with any respect anyway?  it’s letting me down.  why invest in it anyway?  i’m like the motherfucking walking dead.

and why finish this stupid PhD?  in hindsight, the people in this fucking place have triggered so many episodes that i should sue.  unsafe work environment.

it’s not like i’m going to be able to do the work i want to do anyway.  maybe i can still write up a business proposal so someone can do it.  it was strongly aligned with my values and i do still think it could help people.  just someone else will execute it.  but who can??  i designed the business based on my specialized training and experience.

it’s just appalling, y’all.  i just want to completely self-destruct.

abandonment issues

i actually hate the phrase ‘abandonment issues’.  for many reasons, not the least of which is because it applies to me.  but usually i hear it in the context of some magnificent display of ignorant douchery and it gets fucking old after a while.

in any case, i can feel my inner abandonment demons doing a tribal war dance and chanting for a breach in my exterior so they can rage out in the open.  fortunately, i think the lithium is helping me defend my borders.  it’s like having an extra layer of armor. a force field, even.  now we’re talking.  go go gadget lithium!

meanwhile, i am still processing the latest explosive interaction with XBF.  i can’t tell if it’s the lithium or a sense of relief knowing i won’t have to deal with so much crap anymore, but i’m surprisingly okay with things right now.  that doesn’t mean i’m not fucking pissed off that i spent so much time and energy on “us” but at least now its possible to redirect what little energy I have elsewhere.

take, for example, my complex statistical analysis of our relationship.  yes.  i mathematically analyzed my relationship to see if it was worth it and if so, what specific areas needed work.

i expect many of my readers don’t have to ask why i would do such a thing.  when your emotions are making like a pinball and bouncing all over the place, it’s hard to trust yourself because you know your mood is going to change any second.  what’s real?  what’s not?  i didn’t want to rely on these impulses, and i wanted to actually work on our problems so, you know, they wouldn’t be problems anymore.

fortunately, i had already been working on a list called ‘reasons i love and appreciate you’ because we had been planning to date long distance starting in August.  i was thinking that i could find some crafty way to send him some of these reasons each week to keep the spark alive, or some crap.

so i started with my list of positives, and then created a parallel list of issues that i felt needed addressing.  some were associated with the positives, but many stood alone.  then i renamed my ‘reasons i love and appreciate you’ list to ‘houston, we have a problem’.

i created a third column to try and identify underlying issues for the specific examples i had provided in the pros and cons columns.  interestingly, the (108) issues could be boiled down to only 7 categories: asymmetry, incompatible lifestyles, conflict resolution, neglect, lack of appreciation, trust, and disrespect.

i made sure to code whether the specific issues had already been discussed or not (because discussed without resolution is even more frustrating, and not having discussed something means i need to try that first).

then i went through each specific issue, all 108 of them, and rated each of them on a scale of 1 to 5.  for positive items, i rated how important that positive aspect was to my perspective.  for negative items, i rated how important/detrimental/frustrating the issue was for me.

based off of these data, i was able to see that for both raw data and data weighted by importance scores, the broad categories required attention in the following order:

  1. Trust
  2. Asymmetry
  3. Disrespect
  4. Lack of appreciation
  5. Neglect
  6. Conflict Resolution
  7. Incompatible lifestyles

i conducted correlations between each of these categories to see which ones showed overlap.  some were pretty tough to interpret, actually.  still, quite a few made sense correlations made sense, such as the positive, strong relationship between trust and disrespect. so, as problems with trust increase, so do feelings of disrespect.

i also tested between positive and negative issues to see if ratings for positive issues differed statistically from ratings for negative issues.  they didn’t, so that was promising.

then i started getting tricky.

for issues that had both pro and con aspects to them, i adjusted the weighted pro score by subtracting the weighted con score.  in other words, how much did the negative issue detract from the positive one?  if there was no negative score associated, the weighted con score became zero.

i also calculated the weighted con score for items that didn’t have pro components to figure out how much they contributed to my overall feelings.  when i compared the mean of these scores to the mean of the adjusted pro scores, the outlook was not good.  the negatives were *clearly* outweighing the positives.

i then wanted to evaluate how talking influences my feelings. as i mentioned, if we had talked about it and it was not resolved, i found i was more frustrated.  if we hadn’t talked about it, i wanted to know how to prioritize those issues.  you can’t really drop 108 problems in someone’s lap and expect anything to get done.

based on that, I could rank order the topics that needed immediate attention versus those that could wait or be eliminated for now.  this cut the number of specific issues at least in half.  still 50 things is a lot so i needed to condense further.

i figured out where in the 7 categories the severest issues seemed to cluster so i could discuss 7 broader concepts and give specific examples, in the order of urgency.

when i was done, i felt a sense of relief.  i could broach these topics in a reasonable way without getting flooded or paralyzed by emotions.  i brought it up with XBF and we made plans to talk about it.  that was always how it seemed to be.  making plans to make plans to talk.

we never got to discuss it of course.  and right after i had told him we were near a precipice, he chose the very next day–which happened to be my birthday–to have a “misunderstanding”.  to miss my birthday dinner.  i’m not sure how a text that says “you need to get here now” is confusing, but somehow it is and i have to accept that “he was confused” as his answer.

so, back to my abandonment demons…their drum circle beats louder and louder when i think about the sudden turnaround in his behavior and feelings.  two days flat.  or what is more likely, of course, is that doubts had been building for a while, not communicated to me, and had eventually overflowed.  or maybe there is something else.  little abandonment demons plant ideas…like he found someone who is not clinically insane to be with romantically, or at least to get a good fuck.

they whisper that having XBF and Satan Spawn work together has been the best fuel they’ve seen in a long time.  because XBF, who doesn’t know any better, because i didn’t tell him anything different, then asked Satan Spawn for advice, and Satan Spawn will always, without fail, jump at the chance to lie.  you see, Satan Spawn has his own agenda.  it is one that will never be filled, ever.  as my friend put it, in her “clinical opinion”, Satan Spawn is still in love with me.  which i’ve known at least since December when he told me as much directly.  but XBF desperately needed research credits and i did what any devoted girlfriend would do and got him a damn position.  i didn’t tell him about the emotional abuse, or the psychological trauma inflicted upon me by Satan Spawn.  about his successful campaign to destroy my reputation by telling colleagues i am crazy (ha, not so funny now) that worked for over a year before people pulled their heads out of their asses.

and now, it seems, they’re in cahoots.  Satan Spawn is feeding XBF misinformation and coming to me telling me how “awkward it is” and trying to get information about our break up.  XBF is playing innocent and saying Satan Spawn is spontaneously saying all of this on his own.  One or both may be lying.

one thing is for sure.  my abandonment demons are hatching a plot that will require any and all future prospects to perform the equivalent of the Macy’s Parade to even crack the surface.

I should have known…

…that nothing good could come from convicted felons, drug addicts, alcoholics, and people with serious emotional disturbances.  I thought that I had gotten lucky.  I had somehow narrowly avoided a life as a derelict, addicted, hooker, and criminal.  I always admitted my luck.  I gave those lucky stars plenty of credit.



I realized today, of course… of course I couldn’t come out of such a genetic shitshow as my family unscathed.  What kind of hubris would lead me to think I could??

And it’s not only generations of felons and addicts.  Who, of course I should have suspected suffer from a mental disorder…no, no in some distorted way I thought they survived all the shit due to some kind of almost superhuman resilience.  The ratio of possible deaths to actual deaths must mean that we’re actually invincible.

It’s also the environment.  Who can not only be born with the genetic makeup, but then be surrounded by drug addicts and freaks, a young mother who hadn’t the slightest idea what she was doing, would leave me at parties as an infant to get pot, smoke cigarettes sitting next to me while I cried, and be just as violent as my sister’s dad when they got into it…and be healthy?

Who can count their mother’s number of boyfriends to be over 10…by the time I was in high school, and not develop a twisted sense of relationship?  Who can learn the explicit rule to never, ever rely on a man or anyone for that matter, and then not internalize absolutely every problem because  NO WHERE IS SAFE.

Your dad: Doesn’t care, convicted felon a few times, still sells and uses heroin, physically abused my mother.  Had a brief relationship from the ages of 19-22, much of which while he was in prison for (you guessed it) selling heroin.  At least it’s all documented.  And hey, I got Charles Manson’s writing address for Valentine’s Day, and a dream catcher from some Native American who killed someone.  Pretty sure I’m not hanging that anywhere NEAR my bed.

Your mother: Unwilling or unable.  The jury is still out on that one.  She once told me drank about a quart to a liter of kahlua and milk every day when she was pregnant with me.  But she quit smoking, so it’s cool.

Your sister’s dad: A freak show.  Violent and somehow constantly the victim.  When he put the family dog down, he came in and told me I didn’t play with him enough.  Once he left me in the car for hours while he went inside to party with friends and do cocaine.  Missed the father-daughter parade float we were supposed to ride (of course).  I stood on the porch looking at every pair of headlights drive by, waiting and hoping.  Didn’t show…until the next day, when he brought along his OWN father who had clearly wiped out Toys R Us on the way.  Pathetic.

So yeah, taking a look at those ingredients, how the FUCK did I think I would end up with creme brulee?

No, instead I’m just left with two girls, one cup.

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