They are trying to kill me off

The US government has some reason for wanting to kill off segments of the population that somehow don’t serve their purposes. I can only imagine the reasons why.

I have personally been drawing social security since 2001. I also get section 8 to help me pay my rent and also get medicaid. Back in 2001 when I applied for what is called medical assistance in my state (medicaid) they tried to talk me into paying even more per month by getting medicare. There are three parts to medicare – Parts A, B and D (no clue what happened to C). “A” is hospitalization. “B” is all other medical care, and D is prescription drug coverage.

Part B is the one that costs. I already pay a monthly premium for the medicaid I get and not only couldn’t afford to pay for more medical coverage but didn’t see a point to it, so I turned them down.

My yearly recertification for medicaid came around this year and, as in all years previous to this one, I sent the required form and proofs in, they sent me their form rejection letter AFTER I sent in my stuff, I called them and they told me everything was fine, they had received my stuff.

Then I get another letter – pre-dating that phone conversation telling me that since I “turned down” medicare, they were now going to CUT OFF my medicaid – no more health insurance.

I received yet another letter yesterday telling me that my health insurance will end at the end of May (this month).

I made several phone calls this morning over the course of about 4 hours (mostly hold time) only to find out not much of anything other than that medicaid wants a letter from social security telling them that the “open enrollment” for medicare is January 1 through March 31 every year… I was past ‘enrollment’ time and would have to wait until next year. You see medicaid didn’t believe me when I told them that’s what social security told me.

So what the fuck do I do for the 7 remaining months of this year? Someone tried to explain – unsuccessfully – that Somehow Something would help me pay those extra premiums. They weren’t at all clear which tells me that it was a line of bullshit.

This is the ‘slow kill’. I have COPD – which needs medication Daily – and rheumatoid arthritis – which also needs regular medication. BOTH of those could kill me.

The reason I think the government is trying to kill me off is because they have tried pulling the “you need to have Part B” a couple of times over the years, but I still ended up keeping my medicaid and NOT getting Part B.

Given the fact that the “health” care companies report to the government, the government is, at some level, aware of what’s wrong with me. It isn’t bad enough that the ‘raises’ I get in social security never amount to much more that $25 – if I get anything. My rent is going up this year by nearly $60. My medicaid Would have gone up by $65 (these are monthly numbers), and everything else just keeps going up too and I have no money to pay for these things.

I may as well drink myself to death because it would be about as long and painful as all the other options.

“Appropriate” posts

So I have an idea of who “might” read these posts – as many as 20 people have looked at my blog since it started, but not so much lately and it doesn’t tell me who is looking unless they comment. I would like to think I don’t worry about what people think of me, the that’s not exactly true. I don’t want people to think badly of me for any reason. BUT… I can’t control that. People develop ideas about us no matter how hard we try to ‘please’ them. All I can do is keep my side of the street clean and realize that some out there are simply not going to like me no matter what.

I’ve been sober for 2 years as of April 30th – Yay Me! I’ve also begun to realize that certain people at the alano have started to dislike me – as always – for reasons I am not aware of. I can only be the best person I know how to be. If they still don’t like me then it wasn’t meant to be. What I Don’t appreciate is when they start talking to each other behind my back and spreading what they THINK they know about me.

I am not the ‘quiet’ one at AA meetings. I not only speak my mind and heart, but I tend to get very specific about what’s going on in my life. I have talked many times about the obsessive thoughts I was having about that man, including mentioning his name in meetings. That last part was – as I came to realize later – a mistake. Despite the fact that I usually added “none of this was his fault”, giving his name gave the people I told a target. I was sufficiently freaked out on a couple of occasions so that Someone might have assumed I was somehow a danger to him.

Mind you, I’m nearly 61 years old with both osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis, obese and in no shape to even tackle my cat, much less a healthy 50-ish man! I’m also not a stalker! Basically, I’m no threat to anyone!

One or more persons have talked to him and that much was clear when I decided to approach him to chat for a minute after a meeting. The look on his face when I walked up to him was shear panic – he looked like a caged animal! Poor guy. The sad thing is that he apparently believed someone who basically knows NOTHING about me other than what they have heard me talk about in meetings. There is really only one person (in the women’s group) has even bothered trying to get to know me to any depth. No one there knows enough about me to make Any assumptions about what I “might or might not” actually do.

Brené Brown tells us we need to be vulnerable to connect with other humans. I’ve done that in those meetings, though I’ve certainly not told my WHOLE life story. Those are the things that come out when getting to know people. I’ve never been much good at friendship. Vulnerability has only ever brought me pain, so I tend to avoid it like the plague. Being vulnerable is especially difficult for someone with BPD because it was Being vulnerable that helped cause the problem to begin with.

I own my part in this… I didn’t need to mention his name in meetings or to the various people I told about it. Curiosity is a strong pull for me – whether it’s mine or someone else’s – and I felt A Lot of it when I talked about this problem I was having. As someone once said to me, “once you put it out there, you can’t take it back.”

I don’t plan on talking to him again. I will – as I’ve been doing for several months now – leave him completely alone going forward. It makes me sad if only because we did have a good friendship in the beginning. Life turns in ways we don’t always like though.

So what does “appropriate posts” have to do with this? Some who might read this post might be offended by it as they might think I’m talking about them. That may be their own guilt talking to them, or they might just think it’s “inappropriate” for me to speak of things from the AA meetings I attend.

To them I say Too Bad! I am Specifically Not mentioning names in here. Also, I’m talking about AA as it relates to me… not them. I will say that now I am more hesitant to talk so personally about my issues – at least for now. I will certainly no longer talk about that obsession anymore in groups!

The Mental Health Merry-Go-Round

Try as I might to ‘get better’ there has always been something holding me back. I guess it’s true what they say about mental illness and depression – if left untreated (whether it’s through talk therapy or psychotropic drugs) it will get worse. In my life I’ve found that it gets worse even IF you treat it.

More recently I’ve found that it was likely the very drugs they used to treat me that made the problems worse. It’s quite possible they’ve done irreparable damage to my brain and body. No one told me what my diagnosis of borderline personality disorder actually meant. I mean “depression,” “anxiety”, even “bi-polar” are all pretty self-descriptive terms. I had been diagnosed with BPD for more than a decade before anyone bothered to tell me what the fuck it was. Then, in reading about it, I discovered that the psychotropic drugs DON’T WORK on people with BPD! Why? Because it’s NOT the usual suspects causing the depression, anxiety, PTSD, and anti-social behavior that people with BPD suffer. Back in the ‘90s, when I was first put on anti-depressants, the psychiatrist told me that I would literally be on them for the rest of my life. BPD was a defined mental illness at that time, defined and diagnosed Quite Well by the results of the Minnesota Multi-Phasic Inventory (MMPI) test. They even gave me that test, but apparently MISSED it.

I finally picked up a book from my therapist’s office that was written by a doctor who treated patients with BPD. It was called Lost in the Mirror: An Inside Look at Borderline Personality Disorder. That’s where my learning about BPD started. Then I got mad – a trait fairly common to people with BPD. I got mad at my therapy community for NOT explaining to me that I was dealing with this Incredibly MASSIVE problem to which there really was No Fucking Solution other than ‘classes’ called Dialectic Behavioral Therapy. Forgive me… DBT does actually work for some, but I sat through it six times, five of which I had no idea why I was there or WHAT I was supposed to be working on and gained only minimal insight into my problem. The book, however, was enlightening, so I searched out more books on BPD and kept reading. By the way, when looking for a therapist to help you with BPD, make sure the therapist you choose deals Specifically with BPD. People with BPD have actually been Rejected by therapists Because they have BPD and can be difficult for ‘normal’ therapists to deal with.

There are also things online that either I’ve discovered or have been suggested to me that can be sources for useful information. A site that one of my sisters pointed me towards is called Mad in America (https://www.madinamerica.com/). It’s also on Facebook and twitter. I’ll let you look into that to see what they are about. The article she pointed out to me was about how long-term anti-anxiety drug use (clonapin, Xanax, valium, even benadryl and a host of others) can cause not just long term withdrawal (measure in YEARS)  but can cause different levels of psychosis as part of that withdrawal. She knew that I had been on clonapin for literally decades. I researched the withdrawal effects – a list that was Several Pages long (and alphabetized!) – and found myself checking nearly every single one of them.

My point in all this is simple, sometimes there is no remedy. I took anti-depressants until 2018 and I am still fighting to get off the clonapin – a prescription I can no longer refill.

When you’ve spent your life (60+ years in my case) learning one way to be, with no Substantial input or education about Other ways to be, change can be next to impossible. People ask me what I do for fun. I give them a blank stare because – on any kind of regular basis, I don’t do much that I consider “fun”. Though I ‘enjoy’ my job, it’s only in comparison to the more horrible jobs I’ve had in the past. They haven’t fired (rejected/abandoned) me yet. When I work, I feel a sense of impending doom and my anxiety goes off the charts. It exhausts me.

Referring to my last post, I’ve even discovered that my AA meetings are starting to drag me down rather than lift me up. From life experience, I have realized that No One (who isn’t a therapist) really wants to listen to me talk about my problems. People in AA keep saying “Call me (before you pick up a drink)” – a noble gesture, but if I did call them mostly what I would get would be people who don’t/can’t understand my problems, don’t want to hear it, or preach at me about ‘let go and let god’. I don’t want to have the 12 steps reiterated back to me, nor do I want to listen to the benefits of ‘god’ and ‘jesus’ – neither one of which I believe in.

I had gained an emotional equilibrium (even though I was drinking) before I went into treatment in 2017. I WANT THAT BACK! No, I don’t want to drink, especially since it will kill me if I go back, but I Cannot Stand facing that guy in my meetings anymore. Yes, he talked about having a girlfriend in a recent meeting. I thought hearing that might help me, but it didn’t. I just don’t even want to see him anymore. This ‘exposure therapy’ sucks dick! I suppose it doesn’t help that I’m weening off prednisone… yet again. But I can’t blame everything on that.

I am in therapy – where I’ve been for nearly two decades. I have no idea if it will ever help.

Broken Things

Tonight I went to an AA meeting. This is the first time – this time around in sobriety – that I’ve left a meeting feeling WORSE than when I went in. It was my turn to present the topic and since it was an open topic I chose comparing ourselves to others and the problems that presents.

There is someone in this particular group that I know had much the same childhood that I had – the rule was silence, no emotional displays. The child was NEVER right or good enough at anything. This person is particularly adept at voicing the challenges of our (shared but not shared) childhood. S/He was no less adept at it tonight. S/He pointed out that they have had resentments for people who are ‘couples’, especially the ones with kids, and whenever s/he sees them s/he assumes they are happy. This is my assumption too.

It has been my experience that couples do tend to be happier, are more adept at overlooking or dealing with the day to day problems the life hands them if only because they have each other to lean on.

That’s Exactly What They DO NOT SEE in people who are single.

This life is GEARED toward Couples, Couples with Children, Couples with Children and Homes… Not the Sad Sacks of us who ended up single, alone, old and despairing.

Is this a pity party?

FUCK YEAH! And I have every fucking right to have one! I am Sick To Death of hearing those ‘happy couples’ (one or the other of them) try and tell me, “Oh just wait! Life has Something in store for you too!” yeah… right…. more bullshit, sorrow, pain, loneliness, sickness, old age and death… no relief here!

I am over 60 years old and there is No Fucking Way that with this FAT, UGLY body (not to mention my oh-so-sunny disposition) I can Possibly attract Anyone I might be interested in. I’m old, they see it, and THEY don’t like it! Even – and Especially – men my age don’t want anything to do with me! I’ve effectively – literally – scared away the one I was interested in. He’s even scared to talk to me face to face though I don’t know why.

I am facing a life of increasing physical, mental, and emotional pain for which there is no relief in sight. Life after 60 does NOT get better if you don’t already “The Life” in place. I can’t even retire because I can’t live on just social security.

Fuck this shit.

Death wish

WARNING: If you have sensitivities when reading about suicide, you may not want to read this. Also, this one is kind of long.

I wrote the following for a creative writing class in 2000. It was not fiction though the instructor took it as such. It was the dialogue that went through my head nearly every day during the previous few years of my employment with Hennepin County. This is what it was like during the time my depression and anxiety near their worst and also during the time my PTSD was developing. It is a dialogue even though much of it was happening in my own head. Italic font is my soul whereas regular font is my brain.

It’s called schizofrantic: the last day

oh he’s so wonderful. where did I ever find such a wonderful man?
but he’s not from here ‑ where is he from? I have to ask him.
I think he’s from the east coast, but I’m not sure.
here he comes from his morning run.
I know this is our last day together and I’m so in love with him already.
I have to stop him before he can go inside – I want to spend as much time with him today as I possibly can.

{click} “today will be 68 degrees with a low tonite in the low to mid-twenties. Tomorrow’s high will only be in the mid-forti” {thump – she hits the snooze alarm}

damn
time to get up already? no. I still have at least half an hour.
God, I just wanna sleep.
c’mon, just relax  ‑  relax  ‑  go back to sleep…

{drifting off to sleep again}

“I need to shower, baby. I stink!”
“No you don’t. You smell Great to me.” she hugs him and kisses him on his neck.

{click} ”and Cheryl in the morning on KS95. “ {click, click – she turns the alarm off and the radio on}

damn I don’t wanna get up. I don’t wanna go to work today!

you know we have to.

why?

‘cause we don’t have any sick time left.

and your point?

just that. we have bills to pay. who’s gonna pay the bills if we don’t?

you keep saying that, but it never gets us going when we need to go ‑ at least not all the time. how do we get our ass out of bed when there’s no motivation to do it, especially when we feel like this?

we’re supposed to find it from within.

yeah right! you know as well as I do that we’ve never had any motivation, especially where this job is concerned! there’s no way in hell we can stay there much longer! besides, the only thing we have inside us is that pain ‑ that ache. we’ve never known where it comes from or how to get rid of it, we just know it’s worse on these mornings.

then we’ll just have to work harder to find another job so we can get out of there.

yeah, right. easy for YOU to say

{she throws off the covers, rolls over and gets out of bed, she shuffles to the bathroom for the morning constitutional}

it’s NOT easy for me to say, but someone has to keep us in line! I can’t believe we’re gonna do it again.

what’s so hard to believe? its what we do. we call in sick at least once every week and sometimes a lot more. its part of our disease. I hate that… being ‘diseased’. of course that’s how ‘they’ look at it – diseased. actually they think it’s more a behavioral problem than a disease. that’s assuming they even believe it exists since they can’t see it. too many people don’t believe a person is disabled or sick if they cant actually SEE it, and our bosses are no different – even though they claim to be.

yeah, I know. we’ve tried everything. there’s nothing more we can do.

I wanna go Home.

{bladder now empty, she makes her way back to bed, lays down and pulls the covers up under her chin. then in a final decision-making moment, she rolls over and reaches for the phone. she dials her bosses number.}

God, I hate waiting through this stupid message.
“Hi, this is Deann. I’m taking a sick day today. Hope to see you tomorrow.”
yeah right! I’d be happy if I never saw her again! in fact, I’d be happy if I never saw anyone again!

I wanna go Home.

Will You Quit Saying That! if you wanna go then just go! quit your bitchin and get the fuck outta here! just do whatever the hell we need to do to Go Home, but Quit Saying That! I’m so fuckin sick and tired of hearing it I could just scream!

but I don’t know what to do.

The Hell You Don’t! you know what we have to do. we don’t need permission from our parents on this, it’s been coming for a long time. we’ve imagined many different things we could do, many different ways to Go Home, and now its time to Just Do It!

I know, but… well… do we call anyone?

what the hell for?

I dunno. maybe to see if someone can take the cat?

No! Absolutely not! you’re just stalling again. we don’t wanna tell anyone anything. so? are we gonna do this? do we or don’t we want to go? its time to make up our mind! is today the day or what?

I’ll just put out enough food and water and she’ll be fine. no one would know for a long time, would they.

no, they wouldn’t, and that’s not important.

and we really have no reason to stay here, do we.

no, we don’t. we haven’t found where we want to be yet, and it’s not likely we will. besides, we know we’d be happier at Home

Home would be so nice, wouldn’t it.

yes ‑ it would.

I’ve tried to imagine what it’s like there, but it’s difficult.

yeah, I know it is, but nothing worth having is ever easy.

I just can’t imagine living without all the shit that goes on inside us and around us every day. now THAT would be Heaven!

that’s where faith comes in – we have to believe it will be better at Home.

do you think Scotty* went Home?

I have no doubt.

I’m scared.

I know, but we know its time, right? no more messing around.

right. I’m so tired of fighting every thing and every one – even myself, every single day. will you promise me something?

what?

promise me we won’t argue when we get Home?

you know we won’t. its better at Home and we know that. now, do we have what we need?

yeah.

take some aspirin too, so at least our neck doesn’t hurt so much.

ok.

hehe…

what’s so funny?

oh I was just remembering what our ‘friend’ did to us last year. she didn’t even know how wrong she was about what we were doing then! and now here she is, 2000 miles away ‑ oblivious to what is really happening!

yeah, there’s one we wont miss!

no doubt!

hey, do we really believe what that book says about there not being a heaven or hell?

{swallowing pills with large gulps of water}

what it said is that heaven and hell are what we make of them – and that both can exist right here on earth, or where ever we choose to be. it also said that when its time for a person to go, no one has a right to stop them.

oh –  that’s right.

{snuggling back into bed, she wraps herself around one of her body pillows}

do you think we should leave a note?

no. they already know why we are leaving, and that’s enough.
besides… its…too…..late……for……..that……..now………..anyway…..

{she drifts off into her self-induced oblivion – she has finally gone Home}

*Scotty was a co-worker who couldn’t take the abuse they dished out anymore.

Déjà vu of the Weird kind

I just had one… Déjà vu! Yes, it was weird. I was just sitting at my desk, being snarky to someone in my imagination (Oh c’mon! You’ve Never talked to yourself?!!) and mentioned “high school” when I had a sudden ‘recollection’ that I’d somehow had to go to school – K-12 – before I would be accepted into college. This was weird because, in this déjà vu (or dream?) I managed to do this in the Few Months before I actually started college. Except that I didn’t…

I have well detailed recollections (déjà vu’s) of doing each and every grade, all the assignments, sitting in each class and somehow Not feeling like the odd-woman-out because of my age. In real life, I was in my 40s when I started college. In this déjà vu, meither students nor teachers treated me any different than any of the other students.

As far as I can recall, this was probably the recollection of a dream I had a few years ago, though it sure did feel like a déjà vu!

Relapse

A friend relapsed. It pains me to see this because I Know what it feels like. Despite the fact that addiction is a DISEASE we are fighting, we are hounded by our own negative judgments of ourselves. “I should know better,” “I am worthless,” “I can’t do anything right,” “I should be able to control it better.” At some level, some of us even convince ourselves that others believe these things to be true about us too.

The fact is that recovery – a life-long process – teaches us that ‘control’ has nothing to do with it. In fact, it is the very thought that we somehow can ‘control it’ that drives many of us to relapse. It is also the fact that many of us end up despairing over so many things we simply can’t control. We get depressed and our thoughts end up backing up, like a toilet, in our heads. That last part is largely what drove me to relapse in 2012.

Part of my despair for my friend is my own issues of control. I can’t control what other people choose to do, and even though it’s the disease exerting itself over us, there is a certain amount of choice involved in taking that first drink. Another AA friend says they believe that we plan each and every relapse. It’s in our heads before we actually act on it. I believe this is true. I was planning my relapse – even if it was in my sub-conscious – for years before it happened. The closer I got to the actual relapse, the more the idea came to the forefront.

I know it was Very Hard for my friend to admit the relapse to me and I Applaud her and everyone else who has the strength to do so!

I invite everyone to do one thing the next time you make assumptions about either yourself or what others might think of you (yes, even those of you who aren’t addicts). Do a reality check. Did someone Actually Say it to you, or are you ‘reading between the lines’ of something they did say? If that’s the case, check it out. ASK them what they meant. Or, choose to leave it alone and realize that reading between the lines does you no good whatsoever. Are you assuming things to be true about yourself because of a negative self-image you have? Take stock in what you DO have – ACTUALLY HAVE. Do you have clothes to wear, food to eat, family and friends who love and care for you, people who miss you when you’re gone, a faith that sustains you? These are the Important things in life, and they are the things we need to cling to when we start despairing.

I have lived most of my adult life with depression. It is debilitating to say the least. It has landed me in the hospital more times than I can count (or remember for that matter!). It is still an uphill battle for me and many days that hill is STEEP! I have made those assumptions that nobody cared about me, and for me, I could back it up with what I thought were facts. BUT, I wasn’t checking the facts! I was Assuming I knew what they were based on things people were doing or not doing. It’s easy to assume nobody loves or cares about you when nobody calls. The thing is this – it is MY responsibility to call too! I found out that it is possible to drop off people’s radars just by not socializing, not calling, not showing up to life.

We deserve to have a life, but we need to Participate in it too! Stop comparing your insides to everyone else’s outsides because you never know what’s going on inside their heads!

To those who relapse… I Care!

Self Confidence, Sobriety, and Mental Health

I’ve always struggled with self-confidence. It didn’t help that I had a dad who Never complimented me or told me anything I did was in any way ‘right’ or ‘ok’. Mom didn’t help since she was just plain emotionally absent. My oldest sister ended up taking the reins from mom and did her best. Life’s a struggle on the best of days with that kind of upbringing. What it did to me was leave me with Borderline Personality Disorder, PTSD, and addiction issues. I don’t trust people to be ‘good’ to me because I really don’t feel I deserve it.

I hit a point sometime in 2012 where I just said ‘fuck-it’ and started drinking again after 25 years of sobriety. My ‘rationale’ (hardly rational at all) was who was going to notice one more person drinking? Who would notice just another alcoholic buying booze again? This is apparently a departure from many of my AA cohorts who took great pains to hide not only their drinking but how much they were buying as well. I didn’t care. I don’t answer to anyone in my home because I live alone. Plus, I knew I was an alcoholic so no one could surprise me with that information. I admit feeling a need to hide it from my sisters, but that didn’t stop me from indulging in some wine at my nephews wedding…. Right in front of everyone. Oddly enough, no one noticed! It took my own body rebelling against me to get me started on sobriety and improving my life. Pancreatitis is funny that way. And Fucking Painful!!!!

Over the course of the last few years, I’ve taken a more active role in my own mental health. It really couldn’t improve without Some sort of cooperation on my part anyway! After a five-year relapse, I entered outpatient treatment in June of 2017. My resolve was set. I would make the best I could of treatment and AA. I had already started attending AA twice a week before treatment even started. I’ve posted about Suburban North Alano which is where I now go for my three meetings a week.

It’s been an interesting road so far. I’ve met many interesting people and watched and listened to them tell their stories. We are a lovely, loving bunch of people intent on keeping our sobriety. We have a disease that we all know can kill us.

I have also had a struggle that started in November of 2017. Let me say first that before starting AA, or having pancreatitis, I had become a hermit, a recluse. I hated leaving my apartment but would do so in order to earn money at my part-time job and do the necessary shopping that needed to get done. I don’t know if Instacart was a god-send or a curse for people like me, but I was making more and more use of it. Also, Doordash and Bitesquad… W.A.Y. too much money for food delivery, but great if you didn’t want to go out. Again… blessing or curse? I don’t know.

The point is I was not used to dealing much with humans, much less in groups. Having finally figured out what the fuck BPD was and how it affected me, I had determined, based on previous (bad) experiences that dating was a bad idea for me – at least for the foreseeable future. AA only added to that need because taking on someone Else’s problems, plus the nearly inevitable need to ‘fill’ that aching emptiness inside is usually a pretty bad recipe for a disastrous relationship.

Back to November 2017. I had been talking to someone both before and after meetings Very regularly. I wasn’t doing it to flirt, only reaching out to someone I had something in common with and to find out what he knew that maybe I didn’t. We seemed to have ‘things’ in common, addiction being the primary thing, and we talked quite easily. Apparently my heart was developing different ideas.

One night when he approached me after a meeting – nothing special, just the same as always – it hit me like a ton of bricks!

Let me segue here for a minute to tell you that being emotionally overwhelmed is one of the characteristics of BPD and was the primary reason I had decided not to date – it was too painful. I much preferred staying on an even keel.

It was Great and it Sucked All At Once. Great because suddenly I knew I could feel that way for someone, but it sucked even more because, no matter what he felt, I knew I couldn’t have him. Also, he attended the same two meetings I was going to so I couldn’t get away from him.

My emotional even keel sank like a rock. I was beside myself for months after that, not knowing what to do, debating whether or not to go to meetings, wanting but not wanting to see him. One night I stood up from my desk at home and told myself I was quitting AA meetings! Then I sat down and knew I Had to go, and I had to do Something about this problem. I needed his cooperation. I didn’t fall for a pig (as had been typical of me so many times in the past), he was a nice, reasonable guy. In the world of scary things, telling someone who may or may not be interested in you that you like them – even if it was to strike a bargain – is definitely up there! My interest was not to find out if he was interested in me, but to find out if he would be willing to split the two meetings with me. We both needed meetings, and, from my understanding, he was going to meetings 2 to 3 times per day. At the time, I only had the two. He was quite reasonable, even telling me he was flattered and that he was fine with splitting the meetings.

It fell apart before it even began.

After a month or two, he stopped going to both meetings. At first, I was worried for him. Then I realized that this was what I needed and settled in to get some serious meeting time. I also added a third meeting to my schedule – a women’s meeting.

Eventually he came back, and I started to obsess. I thought at first that it would be ok, but the more time that went by the worse it got.

We had talked about so many things and my mind kept playing with the idea that he ‘might’ be attracted to me. One of the things he told me when we met that one time was that he can take up to a couple of years to even start a relationship after meeting someone. My busy brain had a field day with that.

Being alone is not conducive to getting over an obsession. Facing him in the same meetings for so long didn’t seem like the right thing to do to get over it either, so in January of this year, I quit going to both those meetings. I’d hit a wall.

I couldn’t stand not going though! Those two meetings were my Home meetings and I Love them both! I missed them both! Eventually I realized that I needed those meetings more than I needed to worry about whether or not he liked me. I also realized – drove it into my head – that he was not interested in being anything more than friends with me, and I refuse to entertain ideas that suggest otherwise.

He has, yet again, stopped coming to both of those meetings, at least for the last couple of weeks since I restarted them. AA is – in my life – not a tool for dating!

By the way, there has been one man in my life who is my soulmate and who has always done right by me. He is my BFF.

So… drama happens no matter what I do. I just want to keep it simple, go to my meetings, enjoy my friends there, and stay sober.

Memes and PTSD

First, the memes that caught my attention recently:

“I disagree with you. It doesn’t mean I dislike you or that I’m mad at you. It just means that like you, I have my own opinions. I won’t treat you disrespectfully just because we share differing opinions. Give me the same respect.”

“Don’t you wish men could experience the full body tension you feel when there’s a male nearby and you’re scared something bad is going to happen?”

PTSD

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a very real thing that affects roughly 5% of the adults in the U.S. at any given time. Statistics say that as many as 70% of US adults have had some sort of event that can or will result in PTSD.

I live with PTSD. It feels a lot like a ‘blame-game’ trying to figure out where it all came from but let’s face it… as children many of us didn’t have the tools to really know what was happening to us – whether it was good or bad, off the wall, abusive, or even ‘normal’ by anyone’s standards. So, I think my childhood trauma responsibility rests solely with my parents. Yes, as an adult, I can attempt to understand how they fucked up and I continue to try, but I can’t fully understand the depths of their – or my – fuckedupedness.

By the way…did I mention that I swear? You know your options if you don’t like it.

Anyway, the PTSD events didn’t stop at childhood. My first rape was at the age of 14 ½ and he took my virginity.

There was also a string of ‘not-so-nice’ men in my life both before and after I was married. Well… mostly after I was married.

Further along in life I ended up getting fired from not one but TWO jobs in a row for no better reason than “It’s just not working out.” Ummm… What? And that happened AFTER I sobered up! Come to think of it, I didn’t get fired from jobs Before I quit drinking! Ugh. The job I ended up at – again referring to Hennepin County – after those two firings was a union job and I Thought I would be safe from being fired. That’s all well and good…. In Theory… but it doesn’t account for the Assholes who think they can mentally and emotionally Abuse and harass you to get you to leave because they don’t like you.

Side note here: I was and will always be a Top-Notch worker. If someone is willing to pay me to do a job that I am capable of doing, I Always give it Everything I Have. An example of that would be the job at Hennepin County where, during the first six months, I out-performed my predecessor so well that not only did I get an Unheard-of double bump in pay, but also an award for my accomplishments!

Six and a half years later I had to go on medical leave because of all the abuse they heaped on me. Again, I’ll go into that in a later post.

On a day I thought was just another day in the life of my job there, I was leaving to go to my much-needed meeting with my therapist when my boss approached me. She was visibly angry and demanded to know where I was going (it was the middle of the day). I Reminded her that I had an appointment I had requested leave for at least a week prior to that. She waved that off and told me that I should be prepared for a meeting the next day. I was thinking it was just a staff meeting until she said, “oh, and You probably want your union rep with you.”

………………

The trip between where I worked and the office of my therapist was approximately 10 miles. It involved me finding my car in the maze of the parking garage downtown, navigating out of downtown, finding my therapists office, and getting all the way into the waiting room. If I had not done it before, I might have ended up anywhere else. I mentally shut down after that last comment from my supervisor and don’t remember another thing until I ‘came to’ crying in the waiting room at my therapist’s office.

That was my last day of work and the last full-time job I was ever able to do.

One of the difficulties in getting over PTSD for me is the BPD diagnosis in addition to trying to differentiate between negative depressed thoughts and thoughts that are positive and productive. I’m not used to thinking positive thoughts. I wasn’t raised that way and hadn’t, until the last couple of years, figured out that the problem actually is in my thought processes. That doesn’t mean ‘it’s all in my head’ though that’s certainly part of it.

Yet another challenge is getting it through my thick skull that the shit that happened to me in the past is actually Only In The Past. Someone reminded me of that yesterday. My parents are dead so there’s no more abuse coming from them. My rapists are no longer in my life so that’s not happening either. Also, I have NO intention of going back to working for the government in Any capacity.

By the way, I did love my parents even though they really were clueless about how to parent.

Well that’s enough for today. I may revisit this topic.

Pain

Mental, emotional, physical. It doesn’t really matter… it all hurts. All of them can steal your mental health from you.

I’ve had all of the above. In fact, for the last several years, I’ve had increasing physical pain due to diagnoses of fibromyalgia, osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis. Generally speaking, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is when your immune system starts attacking the healthy cells in your body. Yup, my body is slowly killing me. I suppose its retaliation for all the times I tried to do it myself.

Well I’m 60+ years old. I guess I might have suspected that since both my parents were taking prescription pain medications (not opiates) from sometime in their upper 50’s, it stood to reason I might experience ongoing pain too. I do. Persistent. Daily. All-Over pain. I’m not happy about it, but I do whatever I can to keep it at bay. I try to keep consumption of things like Tylenol and Advil to a minimum in order to spare my liver and kidneys – both of which have had problems over the years.

With all this physical pain comes emotional pain. I can’t help but wonder if – maybe – I was Hitler in a previous life and I’m paying for it now! Sure, would be nice to know what I’m being punished for… assuming there’s some sort of angry, spiteful deity involved. If not, it’s just bad luck and, more likely, a really bad diet and exercise regimen.

Seriously, if you’ve got a good diet going (good portion control, good food choices), and a good exercise regimen going, Keep It Up or Suffer The Consequences! I exercised during my 30s and 40s from three to six times a week and usually felt like I’d just had a good tune-up when I was done. Don’t ever let life-circumstances drive you away from doing what’s good for you. If you have the disease of addiction, that goes double for you! Why? Because we tend to put our addictions before Everything Else that is important in our lives! When I started slacking off on my exercising, I was being emotionally and mentally beaten down by that job at Hennepin County. Ultimately, I ended up quitting my Lifetime membership. Even after I bought a Bowflex, I didn’t manage to re-establish a workout regimen. I’m not saying you’re like me… at least I hope you’re not!

You Do Not Want This Pain!

Then there’s avoidable pain. Those kinds of pain usually involve being abused by someone else. I know people currently living in those situations and my heart aches for them. For my part, I need to remind myself that I have no control over what they do for themselves.  I have no control over the choices they make. It is, in my estimation, a sort of addiction by itself. If I had to face an extreme change in my life, depending on what it was, I doubt if I’d do it willingly. There is comfort, even in pain, as long as it is something we can count on. People who aren’t in the throes of it will not see it that way, but I can. Quitting drugs and drinking was HARD too. Quitting a life you’ve grown used to is just as hard. That’s why I call it an addiction. There is denial and fear – two driving forces – involved in staying in an abusive relationship.

Maybe ‘avoidable’ wasn’t the right word. “Normies” (those people who don’t have addiction issues) can successfully ‘avoid’ drinking and drugs without batting an eye. If abusive relationships really are addiction, then ‘choice’ is absent. We can be addicted to just about anything, so I’ll take back my ‘avoidable’ statement.

You know who you are… Know that I Love you All and send you healing thoughts Daily.