Thanksgiving Coming Up....

A few days ago I noticed this really dark red blood on the tip of my little white dog's penis.  I panicked - he had blood in his urine?  I looked it up online and became more distraught - every cause was something terribly horrible. It was a Sunday and I was prepared to rush him to the vet as soon as he could get in on Monday.

But I went outside with him and watched him urinate.  Totally normal - no blood at all, and if he was bleeding that super dark red blood, I couldn't have missed it even if I wanted to.  And other than the dark red blood on the tip of his little penis, he's totally fine - no accidents in the house, very playful and happy.

So I kept watching him.  I didn't remove the blood, and found that every time he went to urinate the blood on his penis was going away, as if his urine was washing off the blood.

Because of that, I didn't rush him to the vet the next day.  I have absolutely NO idea if he would be able to reach his penis with his paws to scratch it or his mouth to bite it if he had.  He has allergies that make him scratch, and he does scratch and bite himself at times and I give him medication for his allergies when I notice it is bothering him. 

It just seems to me that blood that is SO dark and red, obviously not diluted with any urine could actually be blood in his urine.  No, it would do no harm to take him to the vet, but it really, really upsets him to go there and now I'm pretty convinced it was some sort of scratch by himself or outdoors.  Hopefully I am right but pretty sure they would run a battery of tests on him if I took him and they were unable to determine if he had scratched himself.  It's TOTALLY not about the money - I would sell everything I had for the health and happiness of my dog.  I don't have children and he is my only child, even though he has four legs, and what parent wouldn't go to any length for their child's health?  Bailey makes me so happy, his love is unconditional and he completely trusts me to take care of him.  I take that responsibility very seriously - there is absolutely NOTHING I would not do for that dog.  Spoiled?  Yes, very much so and everyone comments on it when they see us together.  But like I tell my husband, you can't spoil a good dog he disagrees. 

That reminds me of something I read today.  "Rescuing one dog won't change the world, but it will change the world of that one dog."   I almost started crying when I read that!!!

 I suppose I did something stupid on Sunday morning, but how do you know something is stupid until you've done it?  I ran in about 15 degree weather with fast intervals at the end of three miles.  After the first interval - I knew immediately what I had done.  I couldn't catch my breath, my lungs and the nose and mouth area (on the inside) felt like they were on fire.  I had unintentionally activated - badly - my asthma, caused by intense cardio in cold weather which makes it so much worse.  This gives me these horrible cold like symptoms and coughing nonstop.  It literally feels like I have one of the worst colds in my life when I get this way, and I still feel at times that I can't catch my breath or get enough air.  I *would* be coughing all of the time,  but I've been using two different inhalers which seems to have stopped that for the most part.  I STILL don't understand how cold symptoms are part of my asthma - you would think it would just affect my lungs, but my doctor has told me over and over ad nauseam that that's what it is and I need to believe him and accept it, that there is no test I can take where he can show me that this is what I have and it causes these types of problems.   Perhaps I am allergic to intense cardio and cold weather which causes asthma?  No clue, I can't figure it out and wanted to run to my doctor on Monday as well for him to "fix me", but once I have these symptoms, new inhaler or not, it can't be immediately remedied.  Only time and of course staying away from things that will activate it again (dust is one other), will make me better.  I really hope it's not asking too much for it all to be gone by Thanksgiving!

I posted on Facebook to Mark's sister that I was excited to come and be with Mark's family to celebrate Thanksgiving, although it will be a few days after Thanksgiving that we all get together.  It was a reply to a post about the weather, but after I said that, the only comment in return was about the weather, not a single word about her being happy we were coming and I really said quite a bit about it.  Can you say "bitch"?  I am certain that she does not want Mark and I there, I'm pretty sure she actually, literally hates us, but she means nothing to me in my life, does not affect in life in any way, so her behavior will not ruin my trip.  Perhaps I should take it as a compliment that we bother her so much.  It can only be jealousy and there are plenty, many things I could point out that she has said or done that would back it up.  I'll be my normal self, and not only that, act and feel like my normal self which just happens to be very happy at this moment, and if she refuses to acknowledges my existence (like last year), I totally don't care.  Actually, right now I see that to be a benefit - not having to talk to her, say a single word to her or be all fake pretending all is well with us and I like her.  To be honest, and maybe this sounds snobbish, I see her as so beneath me, her and her husband as so beneath Mark and I.  Perhaps we give off that vibe to her because I know Mark feels the same way, I have no clue, but that is how I feel.  Bailey is coming with us, so I'll have a distraction - cuddling and taking care of my much adored lap dog, which I love to do, the whole time! : )  He makes me very happy and it would be hard to not be in a good mood having Bailey with me!

So I'm cooking for Mark and I on Thanksgiving which I love to do, we're flying to Texas on Friday, running a race on Saturday morning, having Thanksgiving with his family Saturday afternoon, and flying home Sunday morning.  We now get along very well with his parents, Mark appreciates them very much now after being angry at them for awhile, so hopefully nothing on this trip will change our fond feelings for them and instead, just make them stronger.

Hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving, even if you will be alone on Thanksgiving!  Appreciate the solitude if you are, and know that the majority of families across the country have been dreading Thanksgiving and already know it will be a horrible day with their crazy, annoying families.  They would trade places with someone at home watching television on Thanksgiving in a heartbeat!  I know that I have had many, many Thanksgivings with various families where I longed for that to be me.  Actually, I just realized it has been me.  There have been times that I simply refused to go to Mark's parents house for Thanksgiving and really did appreciate being alone, knowing that my getting out of it was truly the best Thanksgiving of all!

Anxiety - Interesting Suggestion

I saw my psychiatrist yesterday and told her I was doing really, really well, probably 1000% times better, but I have a lot of problems with anxiety.  It can overwhelm me at times. She did increase my Latuda by 40 more (milligrams?) and said to take the extra in the morning, but what she really suggested in addition was to do yoga or meditate, learn how to bring my thoughts into the present.  She was totally right - my anxiety comes from worrying about the future or the past, so she said I needed to learn how to bring my thoughts into the present.  I thought that was a most excellent idea, especially since  I told her I didn't want anything that would make me feel drugged and told her the medications my last psychiatrist had prescribed and wanted me to take during the day but I hated them (Geoden and Seroquel).  I took them at night (which still increased my hunger), but if I took any during the day, which my last psychiatrist had told me to do, they immediately made me very, very sleepy and hungry.  Both I want to avoid, even at the cost of getting so anxious, but they did work.  But it worked by drugging me up and that's what I don't want to feel. 

I actually have a friend here in Chicago that said those exact words to me about herself and what she does to bring her thoughts to the present and how much it had helped her.  I sent her a message asking for perhaps a book I could start out with to learn how to meditate, although she goes somewhere every weekend to meditate.  I've done yoga and maybe it was just the classes I've tried, but it didn't really teach me think in the present.  I was too worried the whole time that I was doing the poses wrong and looked like an idiot, especially because everyone else was able to do them.  Yes, I'm sure they were all like me once when they started out, but that doesn't keep me from being self conscious.

We are actually making plans to see each other soon, so hopefully I'll get a chance to quiz her but I'd like to go ahead and start with a book or something.  I suppose I could search youtube as well.

I told my husband about it, and how I feel like I'm always asking him "Are you okay?" "Are you mad at me?", thinking a lot of times that is what I was worrying about and looking for an answer from him that will take away my anxiety, but even when he gives me the answer I am looking for, I don't believe him and it does nothing to help me.  He also said he didn't feel like I did that at all to him.  Maybe I don't do it as much as I thought I did, but that doesn't mean that isn't something that is constantly on my mind.  It's not just that, though.  I worry about a LOT of things - like one day my dog is going to die and how I will not be able to deal with that - just a lot of other things.  I don't always just enjoy being with my dog, I get clingy with him, think about him and worry about him being upset when no one is at home with him.  It could be anything, but right now it seems to be worrying I am going to lose the two closest things to me.

This is the first holiday season I can remember in such a long time where I am not depressed about it!  It is SUCH an awesome feeling to be able to enjoy the holidays and look forward to them instead of dread them.  I was SO happy when we moved, thinking I wouldn't have to go to my in-laws for holidays ever again, but now I'm actually excited that we are for Thanksgiving, not really bothered (at least not too much) having to see Mark's sister.  No matter how she acts towards me, I will NOT let it ruin my holiday or my mood.  Her attitude towards me is her issue, her problem, not mine.  I'm not responsible for her feelings, I can't change them, and my therapist just told me to ignore any negative way she acts towards me, choose not to care about it, or at least pretend I don't care.  Go ahead and say hello to her and if she doesn't respond and chooses to ignore my existence again, just carry on, talk to her if I want or don't want and don't worry about her reaction (of lack thereof).  So I'm prepared to just relax and have a good time and once again, STOP WORRYING which makes me so very anxious!

I'm really glad my psychiatrist didn't just prescribe a new pill, something that will numb me and medically try to alter my anxiety and giving me suggestions on how to manage it myself.  I think it totally relates to my insecurities in general and somehow I need to work on that.  I'm sure that means I need to be more confident in myself, but just saying I need to do that doesn't change a single thing.  I'm not sure how exactly to fix that about myself.  I suppose that's where my psychological "team" comes in?

No Dogs Allowed

I'm in the process of enrolling for school and getting my transcripts sent to my new school to start in January.  I'm pretty excited except for one thing.  I have never been able to pass College Algebra - I think I've taken it 3 times now and have dropped pretty close to the last day before I got an F.  This time I don't care - even if I squeak out a D-, at least it will be in the past and I'll never have to deal with it again.  That is SO not how I used to be.  I have withdrawn from so many classes because I didn't think I would get an A.  Looking back, that was really stupid.  Who knows how many credits I would have by now?  I think I got into that mentality because of my mother.  She was never happy with my grades as soon as began getting letter grades unless they were all A's. She would tell me *every time* that she got straight A's all through school and she expected the same from me.   Her plans when she was in college was to be an English teacher and she only had one class left and the internship or whatever teachers do to graduate.  No clue why she wouldn't have finished it.  Maybe it was a math class!!  Or something like Chemistry which I am horrible at as well. I don't have that class in my future thank goodness!

I still feel pretty good.  Usually this time of year I start getting pretty depressed.  Holidays are usually not a good time for me and I want to just fast forward to January.  This year I am actually excited about the holidays, so very different than normal.  I would get sad that I don't have any close family members but I don't care this year.  At least I have Mark's family.  I already put the Christmas tree up and decorated it yesterday!  I was going to start decorating the rest of the house then decided it was probably too early to be completely decorated for Christmas.  I'm not opening the blinds to the window so my neighbors can see the tree yet either. : )

Not sure if Mark is better or not, but he is SO SENSITIVE.  I can't predict how he will react to ANYTHING I say, even a compliment!  Then it makes me feel like I said something wrong when that was not my intention at all!  Actually no, he does not seem quite as angry as before in his "crisis" (again, he hates if I use the term mid-life). He seems to be more accepting of whatever he is going through - a realization of what his life is and what it will be I guess, I don't know, never been through it and I'm older than he is.  And not even employed or even starting a new career yet!  I don't dare say those things, at least not again.  Anything I say that is positive when he is ranting makes him angry.  I finally told him the other day when he said something and I said nothing back that it wasn't because I wasn't listening, just everything I say in response to him makes him mad, I certainly don't want to agree with what he is saying because I don't, so silence I feel is my only option.  I can't say "I understand how you feel" because I don't, or "I've been there" because if I have, I don't remember it.  So now I can just say nothing and be okay, or maybe it always was and he is just ranting to get it off his chest.

For some reason, I absolutely loathe leaving the house.  It takes so much willpower to make myself do something outside of the house.  I think I've been home for too long now, all day by myself with my dog.  Pretty sure we are now co-dependent on each other.  He doesn't like it at all when I leave, and I am constantly thinking about him when I am not home and wishing I could have just brought him with me.  I actually do sometimes.  Mark was in an accident and I took him to pick up his rental car and brought Bailey with me.  I took him right in with me to their office, holding him because he only weighs 6 pounds.  I think when a dog is that little, people don't say much about it.  At least no one ever has to me. It always reminds me of Snoopy trying to go places and the signs that would say "No Dogs Allowed".   Sometimes I sing that to him because it is funny to me for some reason!

So, flying to Texas the day after Thanksgiving and taking Bailey on the cabin with me - his first flight.  Thank goodness we are going first class, but only because Mark has a TON of miles to use.  I hope there is more room under the seat for him and his carrier, but we shall see.  I plan on knocking him out with his anti-anxiety medication.

I'll post a picture of our Christmas tree if I can remember!



Polka Dot Pigs = Mania


Chicago has some of the strangest art.  Luckily these particular pieces of art answered a question that has plagued me for quite some time.  What would human sized pigs look like with polka dots?  I finally know. : )



But a question remains.  What is the artist trying to say with the polka dot pigs?  What gave the artist the idea to make polka dot pigs?  Why did Chicago think it was so interesting to put it on display in the middle of the city?  What is the meaning??  People are pigs?  With polka dots?  Do not eat pork?



I am guessing the artist was bipolar.  Only a manic person could be this creative and think polka dot pigs was a good idea.

Gala!


We went to a gala for charity for the "arts", and I never knew a gala could be so much fun!  I thought people would be stuffy and snobbish, but no, not at all!  There was an incredible performance, then cocktails and dinner.  Mark knew *so* many people there, and I even knew a few as well.  He works with some very, very nice people.  I think it's living in the Midwest - people are more genuine and nice here but he thinks I'm wrong.

Mark would introduce me to someone and we'd all talk for awhile, and if I didn't recognize their name I would ask him where were they from and what did they do - how did he know them.  I think the biggest surprise to me is when we would have a very regular conversation with some people, talk about things we all had in common for instance, and then I would find out afterwards who they were. Partners from the consulting firm were Mark and I met was probably the biggest surprise to me.  I was only a consultant there and would be so intimidated by the same people who were now trying to make a good impression on me instead.  Quite a role reversal.  I kept thinking, "This is my life now?  This is my social circle??"  Yes, Mark had told me there would be things like this that I would need to attend if we moved here, but I guess I didn't completely understand what that meant.

Some wives were very quiet, clung to their husbands and just gave an "I'm shy" vibe, but I'm not shy at all, I am so much an extrovert and I talked a lot to everyone.  But really it was all very political - people who work together or do business with people trying to socialize outside of the work place for their careers.  They all seemed so genuinely nice and sincere though - but I guess they didn't get where they were if they weren't good with politics within their companies.

I hadn't been sure what to wear so I chose a simple little black dress and pearls.  I found out when I got there I had pretty much chosen the "uniform" of a lot of women there.  At least I blended in and didn't stand out like I didn't belong there or didn't know what to do to people who go to this gala every year.

Blah, enough of that.  I feel really good right now but Mark is just so sensitive. He makes me feel very insecure and gives me a lot of anxiety by the way he acts.    And I will say very innocent things, even thinking I am giving him a compliment and totally offend him.  So very unpredictable.  I KNOW I am supposed to be focusing on my own happiness now, know that his emotions have nothing to do with me even if it directed towards me during this "crisis" he is having, but it is so very, very difficult.  I know my therapist told me it was time for ME to be the strong one now, but it is really hard.  A lot of things seem to be directly aimed at me but maybe I'm making this "all about me" when it's not.  I don't fully trust him though.  He will tell me like a year later that he's been unhappy with me about something and I don't understand why he waited so long and was so bitter all that time and not just tell me what was bothering him, so yes, it does cause me to be insecure.

My therapist also asked me what would happen if we weren't together?  I told her I was fully capable of taking care of myself, I'm a survivor, I always have been.  I should just keep thinking that and stop being insecure.  I need to get a freaking life! 

School starts towards the end of January and that will take my mind off a lot of this.  My therapist suggested I just take one class to start off with - see if it is something I want to do, yet I really want to start full time.   I know her suggestion is the right one.  I will get overwhelmed if I start out with a full course load and maybe decide I just can't do it.  Lots of things on a checklist to get done so I can start school - and I can be such a procrastinator!

I always write entries that are too long, maybe because I am a fast typist or perhaps I have a lot on my mind I want to get out, experiences I want to record to remember later.  Who knows.



 

Therapist's Verdict

My therapist called and asked if I could come in at 5:30 last night, so I jumped at the chance!  I wanted to figure out what my deal was.

I've never had the "spending symptom" of mania (hypomania) before, so I totally didn't understand what exactly it was.  I just thought it was spending too much money and out of character.  She asked several questions about it and things I hadn't considered.  She said all of my purchases had a PURPOSE, not like buying jewelry and purses, etc.  Yes, I was buying things for the house and mostly for Christmas.  Secondly, my spending was mostly on ebay, and she said if you're doing it for the first time, it is very easy to get addicted to and start bidding on more and more things, I think she even said she had done it once as well when she first used it because it is so addictive.  And...I couldn't have just stopped by entering in my transactions and seeing what I had spent.  I think she thought I took I took the remorse and guilt too far, especially since my husband wasn't mad at all and he had said the same thing - you were just buying things to make the house look pretty for Christmas but of course, I had overspent and to stop, ha. : )

I'll have to look back in my blog, but I told her my other symptom was getting a Brazilian and then doing something with my husband that I have never, ever done before.  She thought that was healthy, even though I had never done it before, and I was getting better.

And being really happy, which I'm not as happy as I was before but still doing pretty good mood wise, again she thought that was just me getting better.  Perhaps, and this is just my thinking, I think I feel so good because I felt so bad for so long.  I'm not happy all the time right now, like no matter what happens, but we didn't really discuss that other than my serious remorse. 

I told her about my idea of getting a degree in Social Work and she thought it was a totally awesome idea and had some really good ideas for me.  To save on expenses, take as many classes as I can at a junior college (but just start out with one class at first to make sure going to school is what I want to do and not get overwhelmed.  She then gave me a name of a school in our area, for when I transfer, that her colleague had graduated from and someone she knows that is going there now.  Why didn't I think of that?  Of COURSE she would know what the best school to go to would be!  The junior college thing is awesome!  I have already racked up so many student loans, oh my gosh!  Just being able to pay out of pocket for each semester sounds so incredibly awesome.  She again reiterated that she thought court reporting was not a good career for me because of the lack of socialization and my being such an extrovert.

SO, end of story.  That is something I really, really hate - whenever I feel good, having to analyze it and usually decide I must be hypomanic if I'm not depressed basically, and now that I have a therapist to talk it through, I'm learning a lot.  I haven't had a therapist since I was diagnosed - in 2001, so I've just been going over what I've read and what I think I feel.  I actually AM, naturally, a pretty happy person, so maybe she's right.  But it's rare that I truly trust what any type of doctor tells me, no matter what they say.  I always think there must be something I haven't said and it's led to a wrong diagnosis - good or bad. 

For me, "just feeling okay" is so much better than how "just feeling okay" sounds.  Only people who have gone or going through what I am I think can fully appreciate or understand that.

Tonight is the gala.  I'm looking forward to it but not the long process of getting ready and the trip into the city.   I have a hair appointment which will be at least three hours and I want to get my individual lashes repaired or redone.  I feel bad for us girls, having to take so long to make ourselves look nice.  Guys just go get a haircut and boom, in 15-30 minutes, they are done, but my husband goes way more often to get his hair cut than I do, so perhaps it adds up if you count travel time.  I'm a bit nervous to be going to a new colorist and stylist for the first time on the day of the gala.

I already have my new Christmas tree assembled and bent all the branches (oh my gosh I HATE that part), but I have so much time to finish it and my idea was to do it leisurely so I wouldn't feel like it was a chore.  Once I made sure all the lights worked,  I stopped because it felt like it was becoming a chore and I want to enjoy it for once.  I have *plenty* of time to decorate it and now I think I have way too many ornaments after I pulled out the old sentimental ones of Mark's and the few ones of ours together in addition to all I bought.  My goal is to get every single ornament on the tree.  Can you actually have too many ornaments?  I have never seen that on a Christmas tree.

I can't help but continue to analyze how I feel when I feel good.  It is just so scary to me to crash because whenever I've been too up the crashes have been totally awful.  Maybe I worry to much.  But it feels really great to be excited about my future once again.

New Path?

SOME of my purchases were delivered yesterday - SIX! And I know there are so many more on the way! As I was opening them, I felt so much regret, I felt like an idiot, wasting all that money and didn't have any excitement whatsoever about each thing.  As a matter of fact, I was thinking I couldn't believe spent so much money on junk.

Mark called when I was upset about it, and as soon as he heard my voice, because spouses just know each other that well, he knew I was sad.  He asked if I was and I told him yes, but at that time I hadn't figured out the reason why yet, I just thought the feeling came over me for no reason. 

He said, "But you were SO HAPPY!  What HAPPENED?", and then I realized...it's not just strangers and friends who love to be around me when I'm hypomanic, it was even my own husband which made me sad.  It seemed like he preferred me that way, but to be truthful, I've been depressed for a really long time so maybe it WAS nice not to come home to gloom and doom for awhile, no matter the reason.

He even started talking up my buying things!  He was saying...but you bought things to decorate our house nicely for Christmas, not even knowing what I have bought.  But that is true, that is what I was doing and I had been totally honest with him about that.  Totally, brutally honest because how can you hide something that is numerical? 

I was still kicking myself and upset about it and went to bed really early.  I woke up this morning, and now I am totally fine!  I don't feel overly happy, but good, and certainly, certainly not depressed.  For some reason, for the longest time, I have been waking up around 2:00 - 3:00 every morning and just give up and stay up for the day.  I heard his alarm clock go off at 5:00 and I ran up there and said "How about starting your morning off with a kiss?" and kissed and hugged him.  I am on such a roller coaster lately, so down that my husband is actually HAPPY when I get sick and am hypo, even if I go through a buying phase, I felt I needed to show him I was okay again without bringing up my stupid illness - blah blah blah, I get so tired of it. 

I'm tired of thinking about it, wondering if I'm this, if I'm that, what if this happens, what if that happens?  I don't have a crystal ball, why not just go with what life brings me?  At least for now, I'm done with analyzing my moods so I know what to say on the next psychiatric visit.  I do like going to the therapist, but we keep it mostly positive - or working on something that I am going through that is tough at the time.  I always feel SO much better when I leave her office.  It took me awhile to start trusting her, but I really am starting to, as scary as that is to me.

So once Mark knew I was okay, he seemed to go back to his grumpy self.  I said something totally innocent and it struck him in a way I don't understand at all but I can tell it was something about what he is going through.  There is absolutely no way I can understand him *most* of the time, not all.

So yeah, all is good and cheery at home!  (kidding, of course) It's actually a pleasant place to be, it's mainly him that is going through a "crisis" (again, not a midlife crisis, do not dare call it that!) But he seems to be having more ups than downs lately so...I'm grateful.  I'm sure no one likes to see their spouse upset and hurt, and can't even imagine how he feels and what he goes through with me.  I just want him to feel better SO BAD, I would do anything, but I just end up feeling helpless when nothing I try works.

SO!  It occurred to me yesterday (FINALLY!) what I would like to do as a career!  People used to ask me why I was interested in court reporting, and I never really had a good answer.  The truth is, I thought I would get out in two years, it would easy, and I'd be back in a career again.  All of that is SO false that it is laughable.

When I was younger, I wanted to be a social worker.  A few year ago I even volunteered to be a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for children who were taken from their homes due to abuse or neglect.   I went through a couple months of training, a few hours a few days a week.  I had a background check.  But it seemed like the social worker I was working with was really thorough and good and all I was doing was agreeing with her.  I didn't feel helpful and thought I was wasting my - and her - time.  So I stopped.  I did learn an important thing, though.  When parents have to go to court about their children being taken away to find out what, if anything, they can do to get them back, it's like they become the best salespeople in the world!  This one lady would NOT let me go, she kept crying and going on and on about how she needed and wanted her kids back, she would do ANYTHING.  I had so much compassion for her and was certain she would do all of the things the judge said.  So what happened when the progress court date came around?  She had done nothing and really had no good reason as to why.  I'll admit, there were long lists of things to do, parenting classes, maybe anger management classes, but all kinds of classes to attend during the day which for most people is during working hours, maybe drug tests, therapy, I totally can't remember everything but it was a lot, and you know?  I think it SHOULD be.  The children were being so abused or neglected that someone actually noticed it, the State took them away it was so bad, and I struggled with believing they should ever go back to their parents.  But they believe being with their natural family is best and also - there is a huge shortage of foster homes, especially if you want to keep them in the same culture, such as a black child going to a black family foster home. 

Went off on a tangent there.  But I never would have thought to do that if it weren't my PASSION.  Mark asked why I wanted to do that, and I couldn't even stop talking about all the reasons and just felt SO EXCITED about my future suddenly.  Even the classes to get my degree for social work - I would be so interested!  Those were always my favorite classes in the past (psychology type classes).

So...we'll see what happens.  I haven't researched any schools, have an idea about tuition, but I don't want to suddenly think of something one day and enroll in school without giving it some serious thought.

We shall see, but it's so nice to have hope for the future again, possibly.

Hypomanic, Self Diagnosed.

Okay, I will formally admit it, I am hypomanic.  When it's the good kind, I don't want to believe it, but I've been acting SO out of character for me.

The first obvious sign was something I've NEVER done before when I'm hypo - start buying tons of stuff without considering our budget.  I got an Amazon delivery today, and do you know I had NO CLUE what could possibly be in it?  I was almost scared to open it.

About the third day in, I confessed to my husband I thought I was hypo and was spending a lot of money which has never been a symptom I've had.  He was SO nice about it, I couldn't believe it!  He guards our budget on a daily basis, but of course I had been using my own credit cards so he had no idea what I was doing.  He called today from work and asked if I could please enter in my transactions into our budget application because he didn't see any and had no idea how much I spent.  His guess was $10k.  Are you kidding me?  I'm hypo but not ready for a divorce.

Making myself enter my transactions and actually SEE what I have done has, for now, stopped the spending spree.  He estimated it to be around a thousand dollars, but I think that's too high.  However, I wasn't going to argue with someone who was being unbelievably gracious and not mad at all.  He understands that is a symptom of my disease and I guess he thinks I can't help it, which must be true.  I have NO IDEA what came over me to make me so obsessed with buying things, but there are a LOT, I mean a LOT of packages that will be coming to my house for the next few weeks.

All the signs are there - so much more social which of course everyone wants to be around someone so happy and complimentary.  I give way too many compliments and so enthusiastically when I'm hypo.  Sleeping less, getting things done around the house and probably more symptoms I don't even know I have.

But...I'm happy.  Excited for what life will bring.  What KILLS me though is that as happy as I am now is in correlation to how bad I will crash eventually.  It could happen at ANY time and the smallest of things could trigger it.  In a split second I could go from elation to a deep depression.  But do I actually tell my doctor and risk being "brought down" which sometimes is TOO down?  I don't want to!!!  I'd rather get help and have my meds changed when I do crash.  I say "rather", not that I won't.  I just can't see myself in her office saying "I'm too happy" and giving her the symptoms I've written here.  It's almost textbook and she will conclude it's too much and want to "fix it".

I'm not hurting anyone (as long as I don't spend money), can't I just enjoy it? 

The Trail and Just Getting It All Out!

I always talk about running on our trail in our neighborhood, so I thought I'd post a few pictures so anyone who cares can see what I see when I run! : )





This is the steep hill I talk about training on for elevation.  It doesn't look that steep in this picture for some reason, but trust me, it is!  


Bailey "hamming it up" in his Dad's "toy".


So this is the trail, and sometimes I walk Bailey on it.  Obviously, this was taken this summer. : )


On my street, with Mark and his toy in the far distance.  I thought if I posted a picture far away enough no one could recognize him!


Again, the trail.  It's 7 miles long.


Last picture of the trail.




This is really, really weird.  In the background, that is a junior high. It's hard to see in this picture, but there are HUNDREDS of geese/ducks that hang out there in the mornings.  It scares the crap out of me!  I always think they are going to decide to attack me all at once, like in the Alfred Hitchcock's movie, "The Birds". They actually have to get out of my way on the trail, barely in time.  They are definitely in NO HURRY!

So that's it, where I run.  And strangely enough, here in Chicago everyone's grass is still green, we're still getting it mowed (in November!), yet there are no leaves on the trees left because it is cold.  I can only assume everyone has grass that does well in cold climates.  In Texas we had Bermuda which I assume must be good for hotter climates.  I wonder what kind of grass we all have?

It is so difficult to talk to my husband still.  I think he's getting better, he said he's moved on to the "acceptance phase" (of his mid-life crisis, but he doesn't like to call it that), and not angry anymore.  I choose to disagree!  He STILL gets angry and goes on and on about things I've heard a million times now.  Finally today I said "can I not just get a break for ONCE??".  Wow, that did not make him happy at all. Can't remember for sure, but that may have been what sent him upstairs to be alone and watch television in bed by himself.  So not like him, but I assumed that meant he wanted time to himself so I didn't go with him.  I did keep yelling his name and asking if he was okay.  I honestly cannot say anything when he's on a rant except to agree and that's hard to do when someone is saying they're a failure and you honestly do not believe that to be true.  But it's his crisis and his reality and no one is going to make him see it any differently.  I want to tell him this is a big struggle for me as well, but my therapist told me that right now *I* have to be the strong one, he's always carried me, so...I will plug on.

I did something a bit crazy the other day.  I got a Brazilian, only...I wanted a "landing strip" left, and instead, she removed EVERYTHING!  I must say, yes, it is painful like people say, but for me, it didn't take long at all so it wasn't as bad as I thought it could be.  And other than taking more hair than I thought she would, she was SO  nice.  I told her all my insecurities - being scared, being embarrassed, and she was very soothing.  This place I've found that does all this stuff - it's really awesome and I absolutely love all the girls there.  They used thread on my eyebrows (again, a bit painful, but I suppose better than getting them waxed) and I asked for individual lashes on my eyes.  It was so freaking cheap!  Rarely does that happen - awesome service and a price so cheap that you find it hard to believe.

I'm really starting to wonder if I'm getting hypomanic.  It's not my normal kind of hypo - irritation and anger.  I feel really, really good but I'm buying lots of stuff and not even thinking about our budgets for everything.  I felt so bad that when Mark asked what I wanted for Christmas I sent to links to very pretty earrings, but I know our budget for Christmas and it is about $300 less than that.  I just told him I am wanting to really decorate the house for Christmas instead of a gift - I actually asked if he could not give me a gift at all, but I have NO idea what he is going to say when he gets the credit card bills.

AND - suddenly I am TOTALLY addicted to ebay!  I've had such wonderful luck getting the best deals on hard to find items and they arrive perfectly and packed so much better than if you bought something from a store.  I think I counted 8 purchases, but the highest thing I've bought is $35.00, and cheapest is maybe $3.00 - $5.00.  So I'm not putting us into bankruptcy, yet...it is SO not like me at ALL.  I would just delete the app from my phone because I doubt I would use it as much on my laptop, but, well...there are still items out there and once I get them I need to give feedback. : )  Every day I keep thinking "no ebay" today, then it starts out slowly and I find myself once again obsessed!

Of course Mark has seen packages coming in the mail so I finally told him I thought I was hypo and gave him all the reasons I just said.  He just said it's got to be so good feeling great after going so long feeling so bad.  Yes, he's absolutely right.  I hate, hate, HATE feeling great and have to stop and think to myself - do I feel TOO good?  Can't I just FEEL good once in awhile without someone deciding they need to "bring me down"?  That never goes well.  I always end up in a serious depression being brought down.

The Phentermine I started taking on...Wednesday afternoon I think has absolutely left me with ZERO appetite, almost ever.  And if I do get hungry, I take a few bites and immediately think why am I  eating when I'm not hungry and stop.  It alarmed Mark a bit yesterday because we had two meals together, but he just said "every time you start taking that medicine you have zero appetite in the beginning".  It's true.  The longer you take it, your appetite starts coming back and that is why they make you stop taking it in the fourth month. I'm not sure if I've lost any weight yet.  I did get on the scale and it said I had lost 5 pounds, but I totally do NOT trust that scale.  I'm going to weigh "for real" on Thursday morning before I start getting ready for "the gala".

Have I mentioned that yet?  We're going to a gala on Thursday night.  I've never been to one and found out several of Mark's bosses are going as well so...not much drinking for me!  I don't want to end up in the bathroom for half the night and that is what happens if I drink too much.  SO hard not to do when you are hanging out with Chicagoans.  They are SERIOUS drinkers!  Mark told me before I moved here not to even try to keep up with everyone and I learned my lesson the hard way.  How in the world can people handle so much alcohol?  I suppose they build up a tolerance.

I think I've typed enough, I'm sure this is long and boring but had a lot to get out.





Beginning of working on weight loss - again!

Things with husband are better today, as least *I* feel better, I can't speak for him.  It is truly a day-to-day experience with absolutely no predictability.

I was so upset last night I ended up taking SEVEN Geoden - a medication that I haven't taken in two years apparently, because that was the date on the bottle.  I hate the drug actually - turns me into a zombie and I just sleep and sleep, but that was the goal.  I think that taking so many all at once improved my mood today?  But he also didn't rant and rave so much either, so who knows, but at least the anxiety and guilty feels went away, if only for today.

I saw my therapist today who helped me understand what *I* can do in this situation.  So strange, she knew all of the symptoms he was displaying without my telling her everything so I have a better perspective.  BUT she may want to see me more often than once a week now.  She asked if I could come on a Saturday which I can, but she always calls to actually 'later to set the appointment as she has taken on a consulting job during the day to help a health care company understand what changes will be made with Obamacare which I applaud.  The agency sounds like it really tries to help their patients overall even though I don't know exactly what it is.

I went to the Weight Loss clinic today and am so very, very glad they are there to help me.  From the last time I weighed in April, I have gained 9 pounds.  Maybe that doesn't sound like a lot to some people, but that is a whole size up, sometimes 2.  My very fave clothes don't fit as well, and some not at all or I look awful in them.  I think it comes down to percentages.  Someone who weighed 200 pounds and gained 9 pounds - I don't know but maybe it wouldn't be a big deal.  That's less than 5% of their weight. But for me, it's about 8% and that is a freaking lot!  They made me do an ekg in the office, and yes, my blood pressure was low (maybe 107/76?) and my heart rate a tad bit low (58 when the norm is 60-100) but I convinced them it is because I am a runner and the doctor agreed.  It lowers your heart rate, don't know about blood pressure.  Now THAT could be from the overdose of Geodon but really, it's still normal I think.

Back to the weight loss clinic.  In no way am I in the "overweight" category, yet they still gave me Phentermime? Sure, that was the whole reason I went, but Mark went with me one time and he is so very lean and they asked him if he had signed in to be seen for weight loss.  I was thinking WOW, they really do give anyone the prescription because it would be  impossible to look at him and think he needed to lose weight.  But I am happy to have it, I won't take it to lose a ton of weight.  Just 15 pounds, but more than that would be awesome!  They will give me a prescription for 3 months, I already know that, as long as I feel I need to lose weight.  I mean I guess, I never looked like a stick even when I went in and weigh in the 120's.  BUT, I always make sure I get weighted there weighing the most heavy things possible.  Today I was wearing the full size, tall Ugg boots, jeans and a sweater.  LOTS of weight for clothes and I had considered putting on my coat for more poundage.  I'm afraid if I don't do that, they may start refusing me.

After awhile, the prescription DOES affect my mood and not in a pleasant way.  I'm just simply not as happy but now that I'm taking an anti-depressant, hopefully it will not change.  But I absolutely have to lose weight!  I'm going to some sort of "gala" next week and found out a lot of Mark's coworkers and some above him are going and bringing their wives.  AND, we're going to his parents for Thanksgiving.  There's always that evil step-sister to think about.

That's about it - I'm getting tired finally and am going to bed.

Medication, Take Me Away

I just did something that is probably not so great.  I stopped taking Geoden over 2 years ago and I just took 4 of them and considering taking more.  I just want my life to go away.  No, not suicide, but I would be totally fine if one day I died in my sleep.  Can't think of a better way to go.

Mark's mid-life crisis is so overwhelming.  No, I'm not the one having the crisis but he is so unpredictable, so argumentative, and says hurtful things without realizing it. 

Other than ranting and raving all the time about how he became a failure and how he has the worst luck in the world and I could just go on, things that I never dream set him off and get him going on the biggest rants.

I was thinking yesterday of the time I ran out of gas and was walking in downtown Dallas, trying to find a gas station.  There were none.  A guy drove up and offered to help me and NO CLUE why I got in with him but I did.  I don't know what I was going to do because I don't think I had much money, it seems like I had none, and he bought me a gas can, bought the gas for it, and drove me back to my car and put it in.  He then asked where I was going and when I told him, he said I could run out before I got there and gave me some cash.  I was so very grateful and asked how I could ever repay him and he said if I ever encountered someone in the same position, help them like he did me.  So several years later, much to the astonishment of the person I helped just like I had been astonished, I helped someone.

It was just a nice story that I remembered and I reminded him of it, you know, like the "remember when?" stories.  I'm pretty sure I added to it that it would be nice if people were nicer to others and paid things forward like that in society.  Can you believe that made him pretty much furious?  As in a rant about "No one has ever helped ME do Anything, why should I help someone else?"

Really weird things happen as well, like I'll do something on my computer or write a blog entry and right away, he's using some of the same words I just used and addressing things I just said.  So today, on text, I asked if he had somehow put a keylogger on my computer because things seemed weird somehow.

No, I realize not a good question to ask your spouse if they are snooping on them.  But he called right away, and suddenly he was going to quit his job, sell the house, and live in a small apartment.  Oh yeah, and I was welcome to come if I wanted.  All because I didn't realize he worked at a job he hated 12 hours a day for ME.  I never asked him to, but yes, I tell him how much I appreciate him all the time!  And don't get me started about Chicago.  Yes, we're here because *I* wanted to come here, not because he was tired of travelling every week - right, that's the story.  I told him let's move back to Texas, I didn't realize he was so happy travelling every week, and go back to the way things were.  Whoa...he was like back it up.  All of a sudden he didn't want to travel.  Uh-huh, all me.      

I had a psychiatrist appointment today but I didn't think I could even leave the house and rescheduled. Now I don't go in until the end of November, not good.  I do have a therapist appointment tomorrow but what is she going to do?  I already KNOW this is supposed to be hell, there's nothing I can do, he's just going to be angry, etc. 

But here's the problem.  I SO do not want to make this about me, but according to everything I read, I am supposed to think about my own happiness right now and not worry about his.  I'm not dealing with it well.  People say don't let his emotions affect you.  How in the hell do you do that exactly? 

Depression is an ongoing battle for me, and not mildly.  Challenging the stability of my living situation is a big trigger for me.  I don't care where we live, I just want to know the rug isn't going to pulled out from under me which has happened SO many times in my life.  It sends me in a major panic. 

There are SO many triggers right now coming at me from every angle.  I started crying on the phone, I really tried not to because it's not supposed to be about me, right?  But I broke down, he softened probably only because most guys meltdown when their wife or girlfriend cries.  He said he felt bad, now I was probably going to be crying all morning.  Yes, he knows me pretty well, but I didn't.  I took klonipin.

Maybe it's the stress - stress is supposed to be a trigger for me, right?  But I can't make this about me, it seems like every emotional crisis has always been mine.  He has a right to have a breakdown and have my support although God help me if I try to support him.  Totally WRONG thing to do.  I just try to stay away.

I think I'm going to take even more Geoden.  I can't deal, I don't want to think about it and *I* am the failure, not him.  I would love to be as successful as he is, but I'm not.  I'm a loser who stays home all day and can't even keep my husband happy.

But again, it's not about me.  I'll just keep taking medications until this is over only...I know there is a possibility of it going on for years.

Why hasn't that first 4 Geoden worked yet?  Maybe it's expired, totally possible.  I'll just take more.
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