Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Love vs. Logic.

So J and I have decided to separate. Before everyone freaks, let me tell you it’s essentially exactly what we have been doing over the last nine months-living apart in different countries. The only difference this time is that instead of working on our relationship long-distance and trying to figure out plans while both of our heads were in no shape to do so, we are going to focus on ourselves.

This picture was taken in August 2008 on Magnetic Island. J and I were engaged, and I was in Australia meeting his family for the first time. There was so much love and happiness that it seemed nothing could break us down. I was on a high I had never felt before. Soon I was going to be a bride. A wife. Everything with us was so whirlwind-he proposed nine days after we met in person, and due to the Visa requirements had to instantly move in together and instantly get married after he was approved. There was never any turning back (not that we wanted to). I was doing so well and was so successful personally that it never occurred to me that having J actually in my world would be a massive change. I just naturally assumed that he would  fly over here and adapt to my life. I thought he would assimilate and I would take care of him until he didn’t need to be taken care of anymore. I forgot one minor detail: I could barely take care of myself.

On my days off of work, I slept. I ate take-out every day. I washed my clothes once every three weeks at best. I had bad days and loved to be left alone. As soon as J and I got married, I fell apart. I set up the wedding; picked out the house and the furniture; got him comfortable and tried to go back to my life and I couldn’t. It was almost like my brain went “what the hell now???” I was so depressed by Christmas (less than twenty-five days after our wedding) that I couldn’t even decorate the house or buy presents. By the end of January I was seeing a psychiatrist. By the end of March I was on medical leave from my work.

Everything got better on meds and then progressively worse. I was never put on a mood stabilizer for my bipolar so I got higher and higher until I crashed and took everything down with me-my job, my house, my finances. I haven’t worked since November 2009. I have been on my own since I was twenty and this is the first time in ten years where I have to rely on my husband and my parents to take care of me, and I hate it.

I have only been feeling better for the last few months, and while I was putting myself back together J started falling apart. It’s pretty common for spouses to suffer from depression related to stress-having to take care of their loved ones for so long and not worrying about themselves would wipe anyone out (like Catherine Zeta-Jones' struggle with Bipolar II after her husband’s cancer went into remission). I was so focused on myself and my pain that I was unable to see J’s own hurt. He’s now also in treatment and trying to deal with the guilt and loss of the last two years. It’s like we are constantly bouncing pain off of one another.

This is us back at Magnetic Island two weeks ago, nearly three years to the day after the first picture was taken. We are no longer in love-it’s much deeper and complex than I’ve ever felt for someone else before. I can truly say there is no one else I want but J in my life, and I know he feels the same. But is love enough? The last nine months I haven’t had him near to pull me up, and yet I was able to. I know now I am a better person when I am alone-I guess I am programmed that way. But my heart doesn’t want that. It wants J. We have a lot of things to work out, and we are going to do it separately. I’m torn on how I feel. On one hand, I’m already excited and looking forward to going back to the States and getting a damn job just to prove to myself that I can. On the other hand, I know that I won’t be able to fully move on until J and I have made serious decisions about our future, and that takes both of us.

I hate that I don’t know what the future holds. I want to press the “play” button on my life again. It feels like it has been on “pause” for so long, and I’m not getting any younger. I wish there was an easy answer. But there just isn’t, and it sucks ass. I’ve never been more torn in my life.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Magnetic Island, Part 2: The food!

In yesterday’s post you got to see how beautiful the island was-this post is all about how great everything TASTED! If you’ve read any of my past blogs about Australia or about me, you know I have some major food issues. Everything here tastes…different. You ask for bacon and you get this:
THAT..IS…HAM!!!!!
I always have to be careful what I order, otherwise something may get lost in the translation, like when someone asked if I wanted chips with my meal. “Potato chips, or ‘chip’ chips like French fries?” I replied (J told me chips almost ALWAYS means French fries). Or when I asked my mum once to get me tomato sauce for my soup and she brought me home ketchup. Doh! I’m happy to say the food situation at “Maggie” (what the locals call Magnetic Island) was an unparalleled success.
The trip to get to the Island from home is a little over 90 minutes, so I made sure not to eat a thing until we got situated (apparently that long of a drive makes me carsick if I eat). When we got to the ferry terminal, I noticed they had a gourmet coffee depot that sold sandwiches and pastries. Since I got here, I have been on the hunt for a caramel tart-something my mum makes perfectly (but she is in the UK right now!)-and haven’t been able to find one. Lo and behold, the depot had one! That was my breakfast. PS: Do you know a great way for people to know you’re a tourist in Australia? Have the barista yell out “soy caramel latte” and look your way!
Caramel tarts are like little kisses from angels. Serious.
After we got to our room, we asked the hotel owners where a good place to get a sandwich was, and he recommended a place about five minutes away called Sunbirdz. “It’s got a lot of frou frou stuff though, like bagels”. That’s EXACTLY what I was looking for! I ordered the special, a BLT (the B being HAM) with garlic aioli mayo and chips (French fries!) with scallions on top. It was excellent. Best sandwich I’ve had in Australia.

Our reservations for Man Friday were at 7pm, and it was the highlight of our day (yeah, we’re fat).

I talked J into trying their sangria, something he has never had before. It was really good, so much so we may try making a batch this weekend!

One of their appetizers were garlic feta stuffed mushrooms-something that sounded wonderful to me-J is not a fan of mushrooms at all. Of course he said I could have them since it was my birthday, and I’m so glad he did. They came out breaded-something I wasn’t expecting-and it made the feta all melty. J even ended up eating two because they were so good! He said they tasted like cheesy garlic bread.
We ate them so fast I didn’t get a picture! But this is what they looked like!
J was torn between getting Tex-Mex spareribs and a beef burrito,  but I knew what I was getting before we even got there-a Tasmanian eye filet mignon served over a bed of garlic mashed potatoes with garlic prawns. I got this last year when we came for our anniversary and it was the best steak I had ever had (except for my mom’s steak back home!). J ended up getting the burrito since authentic Mexican food is hard to come by in his neck of the woods.
Hee hee, love the Mexican flag!

The filet was a baseball cut, medium rare. UH-MAY-ZING.
The next day we got up super early to hit the Townsville farmers markets so I could hopefully find some chilies to make my tortilla soup while I’m here. Turns out types like “Anaheim” and “Poblano” are practically non-existent: I found more Serrano and Sweet Thai types more than any other. At the last stand I found a pack of red peppers that the lady said were “medium” that I still can’t figure out what type they are. They look like this! Anyone have an idea?

I think one of my favorite things to do while I’m in Australia is to see all of the different types of fruits and vegetables and the price differences to the American market. Happily I was able to find everything I needed for my soup except cilantro! I  ran into these MAMMOTH bell peppers (called “Capsicum” in Australia) that were 3 for $2.50.

Monday I prepared my soup as I watched the Emmys live at 11am (weird they were on in the morning!). I was dicing my peppers when Hugh Laurie came on and I glanced at the TV for a second and sliced the shit out of my thumb! That has never happened to me before! I started to sob and ran it under the water where it would NOT stop bleeding. Finally we grabbed a ton of paper towels and I put pressure on it. My angel of a husband who has never cut or diced anything in his life took over the reins and finished chopping the veggies for me. I went through three band-aids! The happy ending was my soup turned out GREAT!
*Look away if you’re squeamish about blood!!!*
Ow ow ow ow ow….
I keep promising that I will post my soup recipe here, by the way, since I ALWAYS talk about it-I’m pretty much obsessed with it. Stay tuned…
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Monday, September 19, 2011

Magnetic Island, Part 1: The Scenery!

Hey all, I had a WONDERFUL birthday! Thanks for all the birthday wishes on here, Twitter and Facebook!

J and I got to Townsville at 11am and hopped on the ferry to Magnetic Island. It was a beautiful day, probably around 77F (25C), and very clear.

Even though my hubs always looks goofy, in this shot he just couldn’t see. Derp!

 

 

The view from our room.DSC00132

The first thing we did was get food (of course!) and walk along Picnic Bay. The island was pretty beat up from Cyclone Yasi that hit this last February, but it looks like most of it had been cleaned up. We did see a few shipwrecks, though.

The pier was severely damaged from the cyclone.

 

It’s like walking on Gilligan’s Island!

 

 

 

The place we stayed at gave us a package deal with the room and a 4x4 to use for the day (OH HOW I WANTED A SCOOTER, but J was right-driving on the left in a foreign country is just an accident waiting to happen). We decided to make the most of it and take the dirt roads that were off-limits to regular cars and visit the roads less traveled. This was my favorite part of the trip (other than the food, which is a whole other blog post)!

 

 

West Point-this part of the island is only accessible by a 4x4.

 

Ooh, artsy! (My shadow is fat!)

 

Heading back from West Point, we found a creek.

 

 

And a “cricket-crow” that was really eerie looking on this desolate road…

We headed to the east side of the island to get to Horseshoe Bay, by far the most populated and touristy part of the island. Before we got there, I wanted to stop at Geoffrey Bay because the guidebook said it had such clear waters that the fish were almost docile. Unfortunately we didn’t see any fish…we pulled up and starting walking to the water when a man pointed at our car and said, “hey! Look at that! Look!” We looked back and what did we see? Rock wallabies everywhere!

 

Apparently they get fed so much by humans they aren’t scared anymore…DSC00204

 

Yes, I did say goodbye to all the wallabies. Yes, I am that dorky.

 

 

We headed over to Horseshoe Bay after our wallaby encounter and had some smoothies! Nothing says “I’m on holiday” more than a couple of smoothies, am I right?!? We just lounged on the beach and enjoyed the ocean. So beautiful!

That night after my AMAZING birthday dinner (that will have you all drooling in tomorrow’s blog), we went back to the hotel and watched “The Naked Gun 2 1/2” and “Changeling”. It was a perfect day!

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Currently 70/30.

Hi all. I’m SO SORRY I don’t post regularly like I should. My brain just doesn’t seem to retain as many good ideas as it used to when it comes to writing. Sadly, I will take being on an even keel over having an overflow of blog posts. I hope my readers understand this! I’ve missed you guys!

I’ve been in Australia for 10 days now. As I posted last month, I was coming back here for six weeks to see my husband and hopefully get a fresh outlook on this country and really be able to steel myself in moving over here for good.

The plane ride was great-this coming from a person who HATES FLYING! Not a lot of turbulence, and the middle seat wasn’t taken by someone so I had a a lot of extra space. When I got here, it was different than before. It wasn’t like, hey! I’m in another country! Weird! It was more like I’ve been here before. Like this is my second home and I am familiar with it. Seeing my hubs after nine months was AMAZING. He got skinny! I cried when I saw him like a dork and was just happy all day long (and all night if you catch my drift OH YEAH).

The first couple of days here we just vegged out and spent time together. It’s all I needed, basically. By the weekend, though, I had caught an ugly cold and was miserable and bed ridden. We had gone to the grocery store before I got sick, and the same food issues I had last year are still there: everything is different and bland. There are minimal healthy choices in this town (like low-carb this or fat free that), and the staples I eat almost daily are nowhere to be found. I went to make my tortilla soup and the grocery store hasn’t had a shipment of chiles in weeks. I am trying to take it with a grain of salt, because this is a town of 7,000 with ONE grocery store. They are going to have a limited supply of food, and even that will be supply and demand. I’m hoping this coming weekend (my birthday!!!) when we go to Townsville (pop 200,000), I will be able to shop there and find more selection. (Side note-I bought bananas here and they were $10.97/kg which equates to $4.97/lb. CRAZY!!!)

Once I felt better, I was able to actually prepare food for J and I. On Saturday I made spaghetti via his mum’s recipe and it came out really well. Last night I made honey soy garlic stir fry, and it was excellent. I’ve been eating grilled ham and cheese sandwiches and bean burritos; I’m really just trying to not feel like I’m missing out on anything back home. Now that I am feeling better mentally, I think I am better equipped to find “copycat” recipes and make them as opposed to thinking I will NEVER HAVE NACHOS AGAIN (they don’t have nacho cheese sauce here! ACK!). My husband doesn’t understand why I can pretty much write an entire blog post about food, but I have food issues and he doesn’t get it. This is a big deal. See the “70/30” as my title? It’s the parts of me that think I can live here (70) versus the part of me that doesn’t think I will be able to (30). For a minute it was 60/40…then thinking about all the stuff I will miss it became 20/80, and I had to stop writing and have a big tear-laden conversation with the hubs. All is well though.

I miss my family, and I’ve been here less than two weeks. I know my hubs promises me that if I move here I can come back to the States once a year, but will that be enough? My grandpa is getting older and as it is now, I see him at least twice a week. My mom is still going through surgeries and we have gotten closer the more time we have spent together this year being bums (I got her hooked on “Grey’s Anatomy”). I see my niece and nephews more now than I ever have, and the more I spend with them the more I want to be in their lives.

When I am in Australia, I have to sleep with the light on. I have stupid superhuman hearing, and every bump in the night freaks me out SO MUCH. I look under the pillows, toilet seats, tables, in my shoes, etc. to make sure bugs aren’t lurking. The first night I was here, there was a roach in the bathroom, and now I have to scan the whole room in order to even pee. Today I was walking into the main bathroom to wash my hands and I ALMOST STEPPED ON A GIANT DEAD COCKROACH. Now I can’t walk around without shoes on, damn it. These are the mounting fears that make me want to go home to the comfort of my house and my country.

All in all, I’m pretty much coping. I love spending time with J, even if that means watching The Simpsons in bed or making a nice meal for us. Even though the birds wake me up at 5am, they are so beautiful to look at (and photograph with my new camera!). The cat sleeps in bed with us (and throws up in bed-gross), something I have missed since we had our two babies Sam and Portal. Everything is so laid-back and relaxed here-I can’t help but feel calm (except when I see giant cockroaches). This weekend (for my birthday!!!), we are going back to one of my favorite places on Earth, Magnetic Island, so I hope to have a lot of beautiful pictures to share with you. Here are a few I took a couple of days ago. Enjoy!

These birds are called “Peewees”.

 

This is called a “Butcher bird”.

 

Hanging out the wash-old school!

 

The uptown view of main street.

 

The opposite view of main street.

 

J got skinny and more handsome, if that’s even possible!

 

See you soon! Hed <3

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Monday, August 15, 2011

Tie me up.

(Quick update: My grandpa is doing much better, but he needs to use a walker at the moment since his legs are still wobbly. And I’ve lost seven pounds in two weeks! HOLLA!)

Sorry if the title misled you, but I am talking about my womanly parts.

Shortly before I met my hubs, I got an IUD (it’s a little T-shaped device the doc puts in your uterus to prevent pregnancy for up to five years). At the time my son (who doesn’t live with me and has medium-functioning autism) was 8, and I wasn’t anywhere near ready to have another kid anytime soon.

When hubs and I started dating, I explained in great detail about why I didn’t want to have any more kids, the main two reasons being that my first was autistic and no one has an explanation on where the disease comes from-but there is a belief that there is a genetic link; and that I had Bipolar, which more than likely stemmed from my dad and his side’s insane genes. Those two reasons were cause enough to want to seal my womb off for eternity. My hubs, at the time being 22 and madly in love with me, didn’t have much to say except for that he understood.

Four years later…he doesn’t so much.

Last month, I had asked the doc to take my IUD out (it was nearing its expiration date anyway) and give me a referral to get my tubes tied. I figured that since the procedure is free with my health program and, after this last major bout of depression I DEFINITELY didn’t want to EVER carry ANYTHING in my womb, I may as well get it done and not have to worry about birth control or synthetic chemicals (the IUD) in my body.

When I told J about it, he seemed to be hesitant. When I asked what he was worried about, he said “I guess I am still holding onto hope that one day we will have children of our own”. Wait a sec…was I not clear when we started dating that I really had no interest in babies, baby? To be fair, I understand that being 22 and dating is a lifetime away from being 26 and married. I also see his family dynamic-parents married almost 30 years and a sister for a best friend versus me and my half-brother and half-sisters and my three-times-married mom who shuttled us from house to house growing up until she met my now stepdad.

His upbringing was so different from mine, and although my mom was nurturing and loving, his was a “mom’s mom”: a stay-at-home mum who shuttled her kids to sports practices, made dinner every night and generally lives for her kids. My mom worked full-time most of her life and loved her “private” time, like I do mine now. I like sleeping in. I like eating dessert before dinner sometimes. I like doing my own thing. I feel like, with kids, you sacrifice so much. I’m not ready or sure I could do that. Ever.

And honestly, me wanting to be selfish the rest of my life isn’t even the half of it. I feel like if I had a baby it would be a crap shoot. My son has autism, severe enough that he will most likely never drive a car, never have a stressful job, never get married or have children of his own-and as much as I am proud of him and love him to pieces, it breaks my heart. It’s just not fair! Why did someone so wonderful get the short end of the stick? And I feel like, what kind of person would I be if I brought another child into this world who will grow up at a disadvantage? They are cutting funding for special needs left and right, and as more and more kids are being diagnosed with autism (shockingly 1 in 110 children have it now-with no cause or cure in sight), a lot of the resources are being spread painfully thin. Not to mention a new study came out today that shows that parents who have one child with autism have a one in five chance of having another child with the disorder, and if you are expecting a boy, the chance increases to one in four. I am not comfortable with those odds.

The other main huge reason I don’t want children (especially from my own seed) is because I am Bipolar. Duh. It’s one thing to worry about even having the capability to raise a child, and it’s quite another to worry about passing on this horrible, incurable illness to your child. I never know when I am going to have another episode. What if my baby is screaming to be fed and I can’t get out of bed? What if I lose the ability to take care of myself (something I know I am capable of due to this last bout)? Children of mentally ill mothers have a higher risk of developing mental illness, partly due to genetics and partly due to the parent-child interaction because of the parent’s illness. It’s bad enough to be blamed as a parent for screwing your kid up for something you weren’t aware of. I don’t want to get “I’m Bipolar because of YOU, mom! YOU did this!”

I’ve talked to my husband in depth about how strongly I feel about this, and I just don’t think he understands where I am coming from. Not because he is a stubborn dick or anything, I just think he is an eternal optimist. I think he feels we will defy the odds and have this perfect little baby with cute clothes and we will teach it to walk and talk and be the best parents ever (don’t we all?) I think no one will ever understand having a child with special needs unless you have one. To the mothers that are reading this and have one or are themselves mentally ill, I commend you for being able to do one or both. I truly do. I just know that I do not feel like I can handle it. I’ve mentioned adoption to J later in our lives, and he says, “I can’t imagine not having a child that’s not half you”. To that I say, you want half me? All you have to do is look at Tito. I have strong ass genes.

My son and I, both taken around 10 years of age. Ignore the mullet.

The feminist in me wants to say it’s MY womb, I can do whatever the hell I want with it. But what if the tables were turned? What if I wanted kids and one day J came home with a vasectomy? I would be crushed. I am part of a unit now, and I truly believe that we need to make a decision together. I just don’t see how that’s possible. We are both standing strong on the issue.

In the meantime, I have cancelled my appointment to get my tubes tied. I get a new 5-year IUD this Thursday. Maybe by then something will change. Maybe I will be a fully functioning member of society. Maybe they will have found a cure for autism (or Bipolar!). Maybe J and I will be divorced and he will have a new wife and kids of his own. I just don’t know. But it’s probably the biggest decision the two of us will have to make together.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

News, recaps, decisions.

Since I now spread my blog posts so far out, I feel like I have to condense all of my current “goings-on” into one big blob, and hopefully it will give me some drive to actually elaborate on the bigger picture of my life in newer posts.

The last time I wrote, it was mainly about my depression and the drugs. All is still well, no changes-which is a GOOD thing. I am actually taking more vitamins and supplements regularly to try and get my body and brain into good shape. I also started really watching what I eat, and so far I have lost four pounds. Yay me! The last time I “dieted” I was pretty manic, so I was writing down every calorie, every Weight Watcher point, bagging things into serving sizes etc.-but this time I am just counting calories via an app on my phone and making better choices.

I took a big leap by going somewhere with thousands of people surrounding me-the A Perfect Circle concert! I can happily report I didn’t even have to drink or take Xanax to “take the edge off” of my anxiety, because I had none! We just walked in, took our seats, and people watched before the show. Afterward we ate at the world famous Pink’s at Universal Studios City Walk.

 

The hubs and I have been talking about him taking a holiday to the States around Halloween/Thanksgiving, but the prices flying out of Australia were around $2500. I have frequent flier miles on Qantas, so casually I looked up how much it would be if I went there to visit for a few weeks, and the price round trip was $1300. So guess what? I’m going back to Australia! It’s for six weeks, and I am not getting my hopes up for ANYTHING this time, okay?

To my long time readers, who may be wondering why I am only taking a holiday instead of moving like I should be, the main reason is we don’t have the funds to fully settle down in Australia yet. Yes I know, we took a chunk out of our savings for this trip, but we haven’t seen each other in almost nine months, and with immigration taking 3-6 months from when it’s filed, we were looking at possibly June 2012-ish when we really would be settling down again for good. Another reason on my end is that I’m in such a better place going there now than I was when I moved there, and I’d like to go back for a bit with “new eyes”, you know? Maybe everything isn’t so bad.

The day before I leave for Australia to see my husband, I get to see my other husband-IN CONCERT! YAY!!!

Oh My GOD! OMG! OMG! OMG!!!!!

30 Seconds to Mars added an extra show in my neighborhood (literally 20 minutes away), and I begged and pleaded with J if I could go. Of course he said yes (I love that man). I got the tickets on a pre-sale, and I am 14 ROWS AWAY FROM JARED LETO. Here, I made a diagram of the awesomeness:

I told my best friend Kato to expect screams and behavior from me like that of a 12-year-old girl meeting Justin Bieber. Yeah.

On a sad ending note, last Saturday my family was playing poker with my grandpa when all of the sudden he started acting funny. After a few minutes he sat on the couch and went into a full-blown seizure. He was rushed to the hospital where they gave him a multitude of tests, all of which were clean (thank Jeebus). They now think the seizure was caused by a mini-stroke. My mom has been staying with him the last couple of days at his house after they released him from the hospital. I saw him today and, other than being wobbly on his feet, he seems fine.

Again, if you are a long time reader, you may remember that my grandpa is A-#1 in my book, and leaving him to go to Australia last summer was the hardest decision out of everything else because, at 84, it really could have been the last time I saw him. I haven’t really thought of those bad feelings since then, but him being in the hospital brought it all back, and it has messed me up. I know if I go to Australia for good anyone can die. It’s life. I just don’t know if I am the type to be able to deal with the overwhelming guilt I know I will feel if I am not there when it happens to one of my loved ones. Thankfully it’s not crippling anxiety (which I am SO GRATEFUL for), but the thoughts still keep me up at night.

So that’s where I am right now. I’m sorry I’m not updating this as much as I should. I suck! But right now I feel like I’m finally on a routine, and I want to keep that going. I will try to fit writing in anyway I can. Promise!

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I’m not dead.

 

“Hi Everybody!”

This post may come out in one big blur, this post may come in incremental patches over the next few days/weeks depending on how I’m feeling. How is everyone? I know I kind of just dropped off the radar without warning (nine weeks without writing? Really?). Miraculously over that time, I only lost two followers-but I gained then lost, then would gain one, then lose one…it felt like my blog was on the same kind of diet I usually am on.

I’ll try and rewind a bit to give you all a little insight to how I have been lately. The last few blogs I wrote back in May were about how my depression was improving, but at the cost of not being able to stay awake for more than four hours in a day. I felt fine, but I was exhausted all the time. I would tell my mom, “no really, I don’t want to sleep my life away or anything, I’m just really sleepy”. She believed me, because when I was awake, I was functional and not moody in the least.

I don’t know how long into taking Lithium it was before I finally decided to call my doctor and say, “hey…I kind of need to stay awake longer than a newborn baby. What can we do?” She changed my dosage from twice a day (AM and PM) to two pills at night to try and correct the sleep imbalance. At first that worked fine, but then the other side effect that was at first tolerable became noticeable and unable to relieve without more pills.

When I would first wake up, I would have hand tremors really bad. They weren’t much of a problem during the rest of the day unless I exerted myself (like stretching far to lift something up or holding something really small between my thumb and forefinger, like a peanut), but after I started taking two Lithium pills at night, I would lie in bed and shake all over. My legs would unconsciously jump and jolt and I felt like I couldn’t stay still. I would counteract that feeling with a Valium or Xanax-which left me sleepy when morning came. Ugh.

When I called a week or so later to tell the doctor about the new problem, she said “well, it sure doesn’t seem like your body is tolerating the Lithium well. I’m going to call in a prescription for Depakote, another first-generation mood stabilizer”. I was happy but anxious: what if this pill was worse than the Lithium? The next day I went to pick it up, and the cashier told me the 30-day supply without health insurance was $123. The generic version. Sigh. I called the doc back to say thanks but I can’t afford that, and waited for her to call me back with another alternative.

I was also angry at the situation. There were now three drugs that I had to pass on because they were extraordinarily expensive. Luckily with my zero income I was able to get accepted for free Pristiq through the drug manufacturer, but I mean come on! There are literally millions in the U.S. alone that suffer from mental illness. It’s like a Catch-22: Some people can’t work due to their illness therefore can’t afford insurance to pay for their medication. I can almost guarantee you that my dad self-medicated with methamphetamines for this reason, and that if it wasn’t for seeing my father as he his and not being in denial of my own illness, that I could just as easily succumb to destructive means to get better as well.

Oh snap.

 

Anyway, back to the meds situation. Thankfully there is a drug called Depakene that is something along the lines of a more basic formulation of Depakote. And is around $25 a month. I have been on them for about three weeks now and feel better (I’m writing this blog, aren’t I?).  The only side effect I’ve gotten is gross acid reflux, but it’s nothing I can’t handle. Woo hoo!

I don’t consider drugs to have “lifted” me to happy. I wouldn’t really call myself happy either. But that horrible ache and hurt that bogged me down so much that I could barely function is gone, and although I’m still at about 20% capacity, I feel now that there is a horizon. My analogy is this: imagine you broke your arm. Even when you’re not poking at it, it hurts and throbs and the pain doesn’t go away. You get a cast. It’s still broken underneath, but it’s healing, and when you bump your arm against something it doesn’t ache and throb as much. The pain is manageable. Well I’m the arm and the cast is the meds (duh!).

I’m hoping this post will boost my urge, my need, to write regularly again. You know it’s a lot easier to write sad then happy? But I will try and fill you in on what’s been going down the past nine weeks. Let’s try and reconnect, yo (PS-I have been sucked into the Twitterverse. I’m always around on Hed_M).

Hed, July 1 2011.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Five years.

Moe,

It’s been five years today since you died. I still can’t believe it. May 18th comes every year and I remember you are no longer with us (not saying I don’t think about you every other damn day, but this day is more heart wrenching then most).

You’ve missed a wedding. You would have loved J. I mean over the moon loved J. You wouldn’t have been able to understand his Aussie accent, but nevertheless you would be the one to sit and listen as he went on and on. He missed out on meeting you, and I hate that. I hate that he never got to meet you, and hear your laugh. I talk about you so much to him so I can remember the good things and share them with him.

You’ve missed a divorce. I know that you would have been really bummed out about that one, but my brother and the boys are doing great. They are really good boys! Jes is a big old sweetie, and Char is so silly.

You missed your first great-granddaughter. That one is a killer, because she is the apple of all of our eyes. She was born almost a year to the day after you died. G would have made your heart melt, like she does Pop. She would have had you wrapped around her little finger.

Mom misses you the most, I’m sure of it. You were her best friend. You two talked every day, and with all of the health issues that have plagued her over the past two years, she really could have used your support. Pop is a soldier, though. He has really taken on your “role” and does all the family things that you used to do.

I don’t think it will ever get easier, just less painful I guess. I try to picture you, Moo-Mama and Sissy playing bingo in heaven. Sometimes when it got really bad for me I wished so bad that God (or whoever it was) would have taken me instead of you. You were one-half of the rock in our family, and the broken piece that left when you died will never be able to be replaced.

I love you so much grandma.

“Moe” 5.14.32-5.18.06

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Hi there.

I figure I should post something since I’m getting tweets from friends making sure I’m okay.

I’m okay.

Really, I’m fine.

That’s kind of it. I’m fine. I’ve been sleeping too much, but that’s the medicine, not the depression. Lithium controls the “highs” of Bipolar (still kind of wondering why I was prescribed it when I don’t get “highs”, but it is the gold standard medicine), so it tends to make you sleepy.

Like I said in my last post (over a week ago? Really?), the meds have given me singular thoughts. My brain isn’t all aflutter with thought after thought. It’s more along the lines of  Sling Blade now. I’ve gone kind of..blank.

Mmm hmmm….taters

 

I choose stupidity over depression for now. It sucks because I loooove to write, but the thought of moving forward, albeit in a drug-induced haze, beats crying half of the day away and thinking of suicide. Even the huge task of moving back to Australia isn’t anxiety propelling. There are just talks for now, and it feels like I have a future. I haven’t felt like I have a future for months and months.

I have been reading all of your blogs, even though it takes me up to a week. I am reading line after line because sometimes the words don’t sink in all the way. But I am there, I’m just in the background.

I’m really hoping that after another few weeks or month(s) the meds will finally level out and I will be an okay Hed without the drug fog. Maybe then the urge to write will come back. Maybe then I will be out and about and I will have stuff to talk about. Right now, all I can talk to you about is my sleep patterns and how my appetite has come back (Tiramisu cake pops from Starbucks are manna from heaven). I hope to see you all soon!

PS-I’m still on Teh Twitter if you want to talk or anything. It seems I’m good at 140 characters, maybe just not a whole blog post hee hee…

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