Friends?

I have been neglecting my personal relationships as of late.  I caught up with a friend I haven’t spoken with in a few weeks.  We ended up trading a few baking recipes and discussing what brought us together, our mental health.  She inspired me to do some baking so I cheated and put some cookie dough in the oven.  During our long chat, I explained that my mind has been telling me one thing but my ability to actually do what I brain says has been diminished.  I’ve had a severe lack of motivation.  One thing I was able to do was apply for a job, but I decided it wasn’t for me because I know I’m not capable of working three 12-hour days back to back.  Especially not for minimum wage.  I was told to reapply in the future if I was interested.

I’ve started to open up to a few new people.  One of these people asked me how I am doing, mentally, and that made me feel happy since this person has been listening to what I’ve been saying.  The others gave me helpful advice when I asked.  And then there are a few people where I’m asking myself, “why bother?”  I’m constantly finding myself reaching out and they don’t want anything to do with me.  At least respond to my Skype messages and texts?  This person has known me for years and has fallen off the face of the earth.  I’m also close to losing two more friends because I’m tired of wasting time on nourishing friendships that seem to die.  The feeling is familiar.  Sometimes the gut knows what’s coming but the mind isn’t capable of telling me to stop caring and let go.

My spouse and I went out for dinner last Friday to celebrate our tenth anniversary, late.  I had French onion soup, crab cakes, and grilled shrimp.  The two of us shared mashed potatoes and garlic green beans.  We shared a mini cheesecake for dessert and I enjoyed the fresh berries that were on top.  The experience was different and I felt out of place.  I have no intention of going back there unless we’re given another gift card.

I realized that my journals were tossed in the trash because my spouse thought they were notes.  I should have paid attention to what was being done, but I was fatigued and ended up sleeping the entire day away.  I’m extremely upset with myself for not keeping my journal with “my belongings.”  I discussed this with my therapist and he assured me that I don’t need them if the sole purpose is to look back to see how much progress I’ve made.

He’s Fired and I Re-Hired

Last Wednesday I saw my psychiatrist, the one I’ve been meaning to fire. I went in and new exactly what I was going to say: treat my depression or else, and take me off a medication that puts me at higher risk for cardiac events.  Things do not start off well.  He asks me how I’m doing and I tell him that I’m not well.  He says I can’t be that bad since I’m smiling and that’s the first time he’s seen me smiling.  (Depressed people don’t smile?)  I told him I’ve been “faking it until I make it.”  He didn’t understand.  What isn’t there to understand?  I put on a happy face so I don’t look so sad and grumpy when out in public.  I then got as specific as I could.  I wanted things to stop.  I didn’t want to die, I just wanted everything in the world and everything around me to stop.  It was hard for me to give an example, but I gave the one that’s been bothering me most.  Physical pain.  When I said this, I was again dismissed and was told I’m not depressed due to bipolar depression, I am depressed because my pain is making me depressed.  I always thought my pain increased while being depressed, and I’m being ignored.

I’m asking for help and I wasn’t getting it.  I was told I needed to go on pain medications (opiates) because an antidepressant medication wouldn’t help me.  I explained why I didn’t want to be on medication for pain and my reasons were dismissed.  Besides side effects of constipation and lethargy, I was addicted to them years ago.  I haven’t had any since April, and for the first four months of this year, I was taking them constantly.  I went from 5mg every 8 hours to 10mg every 4 hours.  I became dependent on them.  I hated how they made me feel.  My mom would “feed” them to me to make me shut up.  I would fall asleep.  Even recently, I’ve wanted to take one.  I have a strong support system and when I had that feeling and I was desperate to take the pain away, I talked to my support system and they reminded me why “one” would be a bad idea.

I was being dismissed.  Great.  I didn’t think I would get the treatment I needed, which is why I came into the appointment knowing that it would be my last, effectively “firing” my psychiatrist.  I talked about how even though my mania has been managed very well, I didn’t want to be on a medication that put me at higher risk for cardiovascular events.  He said this wasn’t true, but I’m going to believe a pharmacist and the black box warning on the medication over this doctor who seems to be clueless.  He asked me what I proposed.  I told him.  He obliged, to my surprise, to FINALLY put me on my treatment plan that had been working well for me before the whole “stuck in bed” period of time.

YES.  It’s about damn time.

Before the appointment was over I let it slip that I moved and would be making my follow-up appointment with the other clinic, seeing a different doctor.  My psychiatrist said he would be sad to not see me any longer.  He said he’s seen a great improvement in my mood (??) and would miss dealing with a strong individual who goes after what they want.  Well, yes.  I’ve been doing that for the past few months and I guess it took that long for him to take me seriously?  I’ve been asking for this treatment since day one and have been given every excuse why he wouldn’t help me.

Don’t back down.  Pick your battles.  (There have been many of them.)  It’s why I thank my mom for teaching me such a great life lesson.

The Move

Let’s count them: the number of times I’ve moved since I met my spouse.

1. I “moved” from my parents’ house to his apartment shortly after we were dating.  You know, the move that starts with keeping a toothbrush and a few necessities at your significant other’s place.  One way to his heart was through my cooking so I hit up the local thrift store and purchased some tools required for cooking that he didn’t own.  Eventually I just stopped sleeping my parents’ house and lived exclusively at his apartment.

2. The first day of my job at Target HQ, we moved from the apartment to a condo he purchased.  By this time, my parents realized I was in a serious relationship and decided it was time to purchase my own vehicle.  After working for a few months, my dad co-signed a loan for my Vue.

3. Pre-2008 happened.  My now spouse ended up in financially hard times and was forced into foreclosure.  I am thankful for my parents letting us live in their basement.  This was right before we were married, and one of the most stressful moments of our relationship.  The job I took at Target HQ was third shift and taking my now spouse to job interviews and work was stressful on my sleeping patterns.  Not to mention there wasn’t much privacy (and thank goodness my uncle was not in the picture at the time).

4. In late 2010 job prospects were not so great for my spouse, so he was invited to live with “friends” in North Carolina.  We didn’t really discuss it in detail so I let him move for what I thought would be a temporary length of time.  My reasoning at the time was that I didn’t think he would find work.  He did, and  moved into an apartment he found in North Carolina in early 2011.  The non-discussion is what made me have deep feelings of resentment that I recently dealt with.  (Resentment, I swallowed that pill and waited for him to die.)

5. Living in the city came with some drawbacks.  It seemed like guns would go off at the same time each week, even being heard in the background of one of the podcasts my spouse regularly records.  We decided to move to the other side of the state line, where crime rates were much lower, but came at the cost of a longer commute due to suburban sprawl.

6. We moved from one apartment community to another since the owners decided to nickel and dime for everything.  Greedy fuckers.

7. Here we are now, back in the city limits proper.  It puts my spouse much closer to work.

Seven moves in twelve years.  Can we be done for a while?

This community seems to be pretty descent.  There’s no major crime, just the petty stuff like vandalism and property theft.  Renter’s insurance went down, to my surprise.  There is a grocery store across the road, Amazon has same-day delivery, food delivery from GrubHub and DoorDash is available here, and perhaps what sealed the deal for my spouse was the availability of fiber.  (No monopoly either — three providers to choose from, which we chose Google.  We live in a “fiberhood.”)

A few nuisances I have found with the apartment unit so far include drafty windows (hopefully solved with curtains); deep tubs (I stubbed my foot getting in and while deep is nice, I need the width too); child-height toilets (I got used to the extra few inches in the last apartment); the island in the kitchen has no power outlets, forcing me to make toast or use whatever appliance on either side of the stove; and the cabinet space above the fridge is literally unusable (I can’t reach the handle to open it, let alone grab anything that would be put up there).

I love being on the first floor.  The perk there is hardwood-style flooring throughout, except for the bedrooms.  The kitchen is newly renovated.  All the appliances are stainless steel, the countertops are granite, and the walls have a glass tile backsplash.  I love the undermounted sink; it makes cleaning the counters a breeze.  Not to mention, I can actually fit a roasting pan in the sink and wash it all in one go.  There’s a disposal in the sink and the dishwasher isn’t a piece of crap.  The top rack is deep enough to hold glasses all while being able to close the dishwasher properly.  The outdoor patio is large enough to buy a table and chairs and still have room to be comfortable.  The decks above are solid concrete so no need to worry about neighbors watering their plants!  And the best thing?  There’s only one apartment touching our walls, and it’s above us!

We haven’t been here for not even three nights and these are the love-hates I’ve found so far.  There’s still a lot to unpack and there’s still a lot of time to pass before I feel like this place will looked “lived in.”  The move went smoothly and I’m happy for it being done with.