Sunday, February 28, 2010

THE 4AM HEARTBURN

I drifted off for a short while and when I awoke I immediately started thinking about love. Am I in a relationship? NO! Do I want to be in a relationship? Not really! These thoughts running through my mind were quizzical ones as I taxed my memory trying to see if I could actually remember what being in love felt like. I could vaguely remember a giddy, excited sensation. I could remember a smile, a look, a touch, but then so many bad things came flooding back smothering the "almost" memory I was having. I finally had to admit to myself that I really doubt I have ever felt love and if I did, that feeling was, but a fleeting glimpse.

At this point in my life, if "it" hasn't found me, I doubt it will. And so what? Who cares? I wish someone would tell me that I'm not missing much and that there are worse things in life than being alone....like being with the wrong person (wait a minute, that's my line I say to everyone!) So here I am at almost 4am typing away about a topic that frustrates the hell out of me. Would finding love and being in love magically transform me? (Yeah, right!) Would it make me sleep? (Great sex might!) Would I feel at one with the world? Om! nam-myoho-renge-kyo, nam-myoho-renge-kyo, nam-myoho-renge-kyo (faster and faster until life is just a blur)!

Gratitude statement: I'm thankful for the actual heartburn I have right now because for that I can take a couple of Tums.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

THE FIRST DAY OF THE REST OF MY VICE

No longer can doing drugs, smoking, drinking, chasing wild men (or women) be included on my list of nasty habits, so I'm going to go gamble at the dogtrack, stuff myself with food and hopefully win some money.

Gratitude statement: I'm thankful I can get pissed off at the government without going postal on their apathetic asses.

Friday, February 26, 2010

3 BROTHERS & OVALTINE


I always thought it sucked being born on September 5th. The year I was born (the wheel still hadn't been invented), September 5th fell on Labor Day (the first Monday of September). The main reason I felt as I did about my birthday was because many times my birthday fell on the first day of school. For a child, that seemed like a fate worse than death. After becoming a parent, the first day of school seemed like a blessing! During those years when my birthday fell on the first day of school, I always felt like my birthday was the secondary event of the day almost like an afterthought. I guess that was due to all the chaos the first day of school brings to any household. My parents had 4 children to get ready for school and send on our way out the door and into the caring tutelage of our new brain bruisers.

Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go,
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for a living,
But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day
Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.
-AUTHOR UNKNOWN-

LAST BORN TRAITS:
Risk takers
Idealists
Good sense of humor
Hard working
Attention seeking
Secretive
Sensitive

MISCELLANEOUS FACTS:
Famous last born children: Howard Stern, Jay Leno, Ralph Nadar, Bill Gates and Danny DeVito
Tend to go against the norm
Make the biggest stirs in life
Know no boundaries

MILDRED RATCHED FACTS:
My youngest son was born on Labor Day also and the doctor who delivered him was born on Labor Day. We were all 25 years apart.

My great grandfather and I shared the same birthday and I grew up to share the same profession. My grandmother died on my 9th birthday.

Before I was born, my mother let my brothers pick out a name for me. No, "shithead" wasn't in the book of baby names that year! They were so sure I was going to be a boy that "James" was the only name they selected. I asked my mother why she just didn't name me "Jimmie" or "Jamie" when I came out penis-free. Perhaps, that would have helped squash my brothers deep-seated resentment of me. Many years later, a long lost relative (a second cousin I didn't know existed when I was growing up) surfaced. His name was James and he and I share the same birthday and his youngest was born the same day as my youngest.

Recently I looked up what famous people were also born on my birthday or I on theirs:
Freddie Mercury, Jack Daniel, Jesse James and Raquel Welsh.

Gratitude statement: I'm thankful for two things: useless facts that act as a welcome distraction and my unique middle name...Ovaltine (it's what my mother craved while she was pregnant with me).

Thursday, February 25, 2010

MEDICATION TIME

What a tangled web we weave and then when everything is totally chaotic, we usually have that "WTF" look on our face like we're actually surprised that we rolled the dice and the outcome wasn't a favorable one. Nope! Not this time! One-sided relationships have never brought me anything, but grief and so I choose to love myself enough to say no thank you to the drama. Pounding my head against a brick wall isn’t my idea of what friendship should feel like. Okay, everyone makes mistakes and I guess everyone deserves a second chance, but what happens when the second chance turns into the 50th chance? Isn't there a designated depot to get off the toxic relationship train?

To make a long, boring story short and simple: A guy I've been friends with since my teenage years threatened me about four months ago. My initial reaction was to try to find out what was wrong, but in doing so, I quickly saw I had made the situation worse, so I backed off. The particulars of the threat are somewhat complicated, but have to do with a website I created in 2002. As not to rock the boat (I take threats seriously), I complied with his demand of removing him from being a member of the website. I immediately sought legal advice regarding the website because his wasn't the first threat I had received. I had dealt with others not long after the website had been created, but I've had smooth sailing until now. Ultimately, I password protected the website and have specific disclaimers on it. Problem solved!

A few days ago, a mutual friend contacted me informing me that the drama queen wanted to be a member of the website again. He had called her whining and claiming he had tried emailing me and I was ignoring him (a total lie...the last I heard from him was when he threatened me on the telephone). What he cleverly set up was her to be his intermediary. Let me interject that during the last 4 months, I have never tried to divy up our mutual friends. I didn't feel that what had transpired between us should have anything to do with his relationship with other people.

Truth? Yes, a part of me wants to cave-in, but that other voice in me is stronger. I know everyone always excuses all his bad behavior as being "okay" because this is how he acts all the time. I'm sorry, but it's time to get off the train. What other people see as being acceptable, I find as being hurtful and damaging. I don't want friends who threaten me. I'm not a doormat and I feel that's what I would become by welcoming him back as the "prodigal son". I'm trying not to get confused on this issue, but my judgment isn't at its best right now. I've got so many other things going on in my head...

Feed back, PLEASE!!!!

Gratitude statement: I'm thankful for the voices of reason out here in the blogosphere.

THE MAGIC WAND

With diabetes, can come many complications. One of the more aggravating complications that has been bothering me for several years is diabetic neuropathy in my feet. For anyone not familiar with how this condition manifests itself, I can liken it to someone taking a lit cigarette and touching it all over my feet. When I do have any sensation in my feet, my nerves seem to be in overdrive. When the feeling subsides, my feet are numb. There's no middle ground and of the two, I prefer numbness!

I've tried many medications to help relieve my diabetic neuropathy. Not long after I was first diagnosed with diabetes about 8 years ago, I was given Neurontin (gabapentin). I saw no improvement even with high doses of the drug, but my stomach bothered me and my head hurt the whole time I took it. The same held true for Lyrica. I tried it twice and the whole time I took Lyrica I had a dull ache at the base of my head, my digestive tract hated the drug and my vision was blurry. Topamax just dulled my whole brain, but not my feet. I became forgetful and my stomach bothered me the whole time I took it. Recently I tried Savella, a brand new drug usually prescribed for fibromyalgia. The doctor gave me a starter pack as a free sample.

Savella is a medication that a person has to gradually increase over a two week period to reach the optimal dosage. By the end of the first week, my mind was racing all the time, I couldn't sleep at all (I do very little of that anyway) and things that happened 40 years ago were bothering me like they had just happened. If I had continued on taking Savella, they would have had to put me in a rubber room by the end of the second week. When I discontinued taking it, the drug took about 3 days to get completely out of my system.

After becoming discouraged and frustrated, I listened to the suggestion of a good friend who suggested that I try taking B-complex vitamins once a day. Although the burning sensation isn't completely gone, I have to admit that it has greatly improved. Mind over matter? Who knows? What I do know is that each person is an individual with a different body chemistry than anyone else. How can doctors prescribe a drug and expect it to work for everyone if no two people are genetically identical? Doesn't it make more sense to take something that your body may be deficient in due to the chronic illness? I guess I'm giving a little bit of a holistic approach to my medical problems to see where it leads me. What have I got to lose? The same old same old seems to be zapping my strength and sucking the life out of me slowly.

Gratitude statement: I'm thankful for common sense, logic and the strength to follow my own path.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

MENTAL HANDCUFFS

I guess the hardest part for me to deal with is the acceptance of my own limitations. After being Wonder Woman most of my adult life, how can I go from that to being the Seahag on Popeye? I've always had a somewhat "negative" thought process (I call it being a realist), but I could always function. I never felt depressed until about two years ago and then POW!

I really didn't know what hit me. I lost my ability to bounce back from all the things life was throwing my way. I completely lost my ability to function normally. Perhaps the difference is due to the physical illnesses I have developed over the last decade. Those things which challenge me physically in combination with my negative thought processes seem to have created the Grand Poobah of cluster fucks. Every little thing seems tightly interwoven to the next and this intricate maze I run like a trapped lab rat has no end. I want my reward and I want it NOW! Damn it! Where's my hunk of cheese?

Gratitude statement: I'm thankful for the days I was Wonder Woman because I looked hot in that skimpy outfit and boots.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A CAVE GIRL & HER TOYS

No post! Just a picture of where I sit and type and type and type....

Items featured in picture from left to right: a laptop screen, tassels from my 3 children's graduations, a hand statue giving the peace sign (to remind me of my roots), a mouse because I hate the built-in laptop mouse sitting on wizard of oz mouse pad (Dear Dorothy: Hate Oz, Took the shoes. Find your own way home! Toto), a bottle of hand sanitizer for all my dirty jobs & a pencil holder made by my youngest son in 1986 filled with writing implements and scissors sitting on the wooden box I used to keep filled with joints (the box has been empty since 1985 and is now used for paperclips), my trusty 8-ball for all my major decisions sitting on top of my kitty drink coaster, my rolodex sitting on my "little black book" (names with 5 stars beside them probably all have E.D. now), wizard of oz paraphernalia (ruby slippers are made from cast iron and can really pack a wallop...beware wicked witches!) sitting in front of my beautiful reverse painted lamp. On the wall - metal wizard of oz poster and candles on window sill. I guess the only things missing are some incense and a circle of people singing Kumbaya (or Somewhere Over The Rainbow...wait a minute! I already posted that song, didn't I?).

Gratitude statement: I'm thankful for all the great decisions my 8-ball has made for me.

Monday, February 22, 2010

CAVE LIFE 101

People with alternative lifestyles or who have a different sexual orientation than the rest of mainstream America may reside in a closet until they decide to emerge, but depressed people dwell in a dark, dingy cave many times filled with items of convenience so they won't have to ever emerge. A few years ago, I purchased a small refrigerator and a microwave to put in my bedroom, so I wouldn't have to leave it. That was around the same time as I bought a 52-inch HDTV. I should have seen the writing on the wall, but like most things, I ignored the warning signs until the damage had been done.

Hey, people I live in Florida and in an area where the beaches don't suck. As described in the following quote: "The gentle breeze is still soothing just as the crystal-clear waves roll in from the emerald sea. The flawless white sand is just as soft as before, and the sea oats still dance for a glowing sun" Pensacola boasts to have the whitest beaches in Florida. So why does a person who once was a sun worshipper no longer even venture out into the light of day? No, I haven't joined the ranks of the undead! Not yet, at least!

I think it has to do with having an addictive personality. I always loved to binge and then I'd grow bored with the object of my addiction. This behavior held true in every aspect of my life. For example, I loved to read, but unlike a normal person who would read a book and then go onto the next or perhaps take a break between books, I would read 10 books in 2 weeks and then be done for 6 months or more. I buy books now and never read them. I sit and look at the cover or maybe read the first page a few hundred times. I guess the same holds true with the beach. I burnt myself out on being sun burned. Actually, that's probably a good thing!

Tomorrow, I have my next yoyo appointment. I know she wants me to start dealing with issues I'd rather just leave in the cave. I'd rather discuss how I've spent the last 2 days cleaning and rearranging my cave and how good that made me feel...physically drained, but mentally better. I'd rather talk about why I feel the need to throw something away if I haven't used it in 6 months and why I have so little in which I assign sentimental value. Material objects have never meant very much to me...easy come, easy go! I'd rather discuss anything other than sexual abuse. I think I may be in a horribly foul mood tomorrow!

Gratitude statement: I'm thankful it's today and not tomorrow.

FEATURED YOYO

Eva Cassidy (February 2, 1963 – November 2, 1996)



Gratitude statement: I'm thankful this song makes me feel the same way today as it did the very first time I heard it as a child. I'm sorry Judy, but today Eva is at the microphone.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

THE TRUTH IS A VIRUS

Written April 9, 2009, taken from an excerpt on my blog, Abnormally Normal People, edited and reposted today over 10 months later.

Truth? As far out on the edge as I've teetered, something has always kept me from stepping into the abyss. Truth? My pain and I have a very intimate relationship. It’s very complicated and the only lasting relationship I’ve ever had. It’s definitely a love-hate relationship full of angst and exploration leading me into places where I’m able to forget my pain temporarily. During those times, life has been wonderful and filled with adventures, but nonetheless those times were temporary.

Is there anyone out there who has ever gotten to the point of saying "I'm done"? Well, what do you do when you're done? What do you do when you look back at the life you've lived and see that it's taken you to a place of true complacency and indifference? Wow! That's a place I never thought I'd be! Anger maybe. Rage was always a possibility. Bitterness was always aching to be number one on the hit parade, but what did I get? Complacency and indifference salted with a dash of disillusionment.

Without all the gory details, I recently made a decision that possibly could be the queen of all my self-destructive acts. I know some might think anyone making the decision to stop an addiction... any addiction is a wise decision. Perhaps it is! What would one say to someone who is addicted to prescribed narcotics and muscle relaxers and who has decided to stop taking those drugs against medical advice? Hmmmmmmm! Go for it? Good luck? You’re a damn fool? There’s no escaping the truth. When you’re done, you’re done.

Truth? Drugs have veiled many of my written words over the past several years. Okay, for some that may come as no big surprise, but for me it does. What surprises me is that after living through the horrors of drug abuse at a younger age, I allowed myself to take the easy way out as an adult and become something I hated. I would like nothing more than to be able to blame the doctors who prescribed the drugs to me, but I can't do that. I won’t do that! They had a job to do and did it. What transpired was a perfectly legal act, although some might question the ethics or morals involved.

Was I some drug-seeking individual that goes from doctor to doctor hoping to score some decent drugs? Truth? No! My medical problems set me on the path of having the best drugs health insurance could legally buy. Unfortunately, the nature of the beast includes developing a tolerance to prescribed narcotics. What may work initially only becomes a way to take the edge off and feel somewhat normal…. whatever normal is I’ve forgotten.

After careful consideration, I decided to go cold turkey. Is that the politically correct term these days or is it only showing my age? I decided to do this withdrawal in stages thinking that it would be easier on me due to other health issues. Instead of weaning myself off my meds, I abruptly stopped taking my Oxycontin first and now, I’m in the throes of a nasty divorce from Percocet 10’s. The muscle relaxers were flushed sometime in the midst of all this madness. Has my last month been fun? Hell no, but what I do know is that withdrawal can be accomplished. All it takes is determination and insanity will take you the rest of the way.

Gratitude statement: I'm grateful for having another blog I can steal stuff from when I don't feel like journaling.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

FEATURED YOYO

Please allow me to introduce myself!
Any insomniac, addict, mentally or emotionally disturbed person or anyone who has ever been in dire straits and is at the end of their rope with nowhere to go is well-acquainted with temptation, self-indulgence and pleasure seeking behaviors. Satan, imaginary or not, comes in many forms and touches the lives of the most desperate. We are his army, the hedonists of the world. Even when we are not capable of feeling pleasure, there is the memory of pleasure and what a driving force that can be. To love one more time...to feel the pleasure of carnal knowledge and fleshy delights one more time, to experience whatever revs your engines and gets the juices flowing...the ultimate mind candy! Perhaps, he, the undoer of all good is the "secondary gain" (see previous post) keeping all questionable, unhealthy behaviors afloat.



Gratitude statement: I am thankful to be a survivor!

SECONDARY GAIN PAIN


I ordered two workbooks my yoyo inspector wants me to do work in. When the package came, I immediately opened the book to see if the order was right, but then took the box and deposited it in my bedroom, the infamous cave. Did I ever tell anyone what color my cave walls are painted? They're bohemian red (dark red). I have African masks on the walls and a few wooden African statues. Over my bed or at least one of my beds, the one in the "red room" (I have 3 places in the house I attempt sleep) I have a large framed Wizard of Oz poster.

Getting back to the point...my workbooks sat in the box until last night while I was watching Bill Maher's HBO show Real Time. I picked up the one titled The Courage to Heal Workbook For Women and Men Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse and held it in my hands for about 2 seconds before tossing it back in the box. Nope! I wasn't ready for that one yet!
The other seemed less intimidating: Pain Recovery How to Find Balance and Reduce Suffering from Chronic Pain A Comprehensive Opioid-Free Approach. How's that for a title?

I opened the book and started reading. Almost immediately, there was a large caution written? Basically, it said cold turkey isn't the way to kick a habit. I wrote an "OOPS!!" in the margin. I guess that's not a good way to start a new program by doing things the Mildred Ratched method (like that way has worked so well for me in the past).

I got through the first exercise okay. I had to identify my causes of chronic pain from a rather long list. I checked off what applied to me. The next exercise, I read and went blank. I really didn't know what to write. I read it again and still drew a blank, so I went on to the next exercise. This little jewel was titled: Secondary Gain: A Hidden Barrier to Recovery. I felt like someone had slapped me in the face. I instantly felt so embarrassed and ashamed that I wanted to runaway or at least never come out of my cave again. I can't do this! I can't make myself feel worse while I'm already teetering on the edge. My very thin lifeline has been being able to express how I feel and now I feel I shouldn't do that because it's a secondary gain. WTF!!! Retreat! Stay silent! Don't ask, don't tell!

To quote the book: Secondary gain refers to any perceived benefit you receive from having pain. If not indentified, secondary gain gives you unconscious reasons for holding onto your pain. This does not mean you are pretending to hurt for the benefits you get, just that the perceived benefits make pain rewarding in some ways and thus more complicated to treat. (pain junkie aka glutton for punishmnet)

My next blog entry will deal with the list of perceived payoffs I get for being in pain. I need awhile to warp my short-circuited brain around this so I can start to move past it. This isn't something I want to do because just the thought of secondary gain is causing me pain, stress, embarrassment and shame, but since I'm a glutton for punishment I'll do it and I'll do it with honesty and conviction.

Gratitude statement: Although recovering is a difficult and lifelong process, taking the first step is the hardest. I'm thankful for having the courage and good sense to take that first step.

Friday, February 19, 2010

MEDICATION TIME


Sleep finally came sometime after 3am. I drifted off while watching the shows I had recorded on my DVR. I don't remember dreaming, but that isn't unusual for someone with sleep apnea. The place where dreams live somewhere deep in R.E.M., is a place that prohibits apneatic individuals from entering.

When I sleep, I sleep in dreamless slumber. I awake feeling as if someone had been scratching around inside my head. Today, I awoke shortly after 6am feeling sick; almost as if I had a hangover without the benefit of being drunk. After sitting on the edge of the couch for several minutes contemplating if my legs were actually strong enough to support me, I stood slowly and staggered to the kitchen for a drink of water. What desert had I trudged across in my few hours of sleep to cause this excessive thirst? Who had I battled to feel this sore?

Gratitude statement: I was going to write TGIF, but I haven't worked since December 2008, so Friday is Sunday is Wednesday to me. How about this...I hear birds singing again this morning and for those melodious creatures I am thankful. They sing and fly and remind me how much more beautiful they are than mankind.

A CITY OF YOYOS

Hail to vampires, The French Quarter, Mardi Gras, Anne Rice, The New Orleans Saints and all those things that make New Orleans the city of mystique that it is.



Gratitude statement: I am truly thankful that the pen really is mightier than the sword.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

FEATURED YOYO

Jim Henson (September 24, 1936 – May 16, 1990), creator of The Muppets.



Gratitude statement: I'm thankful for creative people.

MEDICATION TIME

My first "sleep vice" will be designed for my sadomasochist clientele....a full-length body foam rubber encasement (similar to memory foam pillows and mattresses, but softer...that stuff may mold to your body, but it's not comfortable) lined with rose thorns. A similiar version can be made with a sandpaper lining for those people looking for alittle discomfort and displeasure, but not actual pain. Stay tuned for more creative sleep aids.

Gratitude statement: I'm thankful I'm not a sadomasochist.

SLEEPLESS IN PENSACOLA

I think the whole point to sleep is to awake refreshed and revitalized and ready for the day ahead. When I do sleep it's in a very broken fashion. It seems every time I move, I wake up in pain. I wonder if there's some device to hold a person in one position so they cannot move at all. Duck tape can get expensive! Wait...maybe I need to patent that idea. I'll be really pissed if in ten years from now, I see an ad on the TV for a "sleep vice" and I didn't create it.

Gratitude statement: I'm thankful for the friends who hang in there with me even when I don't deserve their loyalty.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

TIME-OUT CONFESSIONS

A loving and concerned relative told me that I needed to get a "herring choker". A what? A downeaster, a lumberjack...a good old Mainiac! You know he might have a point...I have been in self-imposed "time out" what seems like forever. Why? Well, I have impaired judgment when it comes to men. I like the badboys! No, I don't want to fix them...I want them to stay just as they are and there lies the problem. Badboys and relationships don't go together very well. Nice = boring in my mind! Okay, I know that thinking is wrong so that's why I'm in "time-out". Naughty me! I need time to sort through the error of my ways.

Gratitude statement: Thank God for time-out!

LET THE FUN BEGIN

According to the YoYo Inspector I'm seeing to cure me of my cave-dwelling ways, I should "journal" everyday. Does blogging count as journaling? I can choose my own topic, but at the end of each entry I'm supposed to include at least one "gratitude" statement. Okay...got it! I'm ready to start this journey!

Gratitude statement: I'm mighty grateful I don't have hemorrhoids.

MEDICATION TIME

How do I turn off the "reactions" on each post. Reactions? WTF! What programmer thinks up this willfully dense shit anyway?

Gratitude statement: I'm thankful for being smart enough to ask for help when I'm stuck and can't figure something out on my own.

TO BE OR NOT TO BE

Once a person becomes depressed, do they ever really recover from it?

Gratitude statement: I'm thankful for the time to search for that answer.

All gibberish within ©2004-2010 Mildred Ratched Memoirs.