Tag Archives: broken heart

Middle-aged Woman; Interrupted

18 Oct

you-are-not-your-mental-illness

Most, if not all, of my knowledge of bipolar disorder comes from movies and TV shows, namely, A TV show I watched last year called Black Box, Apparently I’m the only person who watched it because it is no longer on, probably took it off to make room for Snorkeling With the Stars, or some such nonsense, anyway this is not about my disdain for reality television shows, this is about my shocking lack of actual knowledge that was not obtained through television shows and/or movies. In the show ( If you didn’t click the link above, you should) because I’m not going to outline the whole show, just my thoughts on the show and what I gleaned about being bipolar from watching the show. My thoughts were that sure her highs were high and her lows were devastating, but if she didn’t stay on her meds, which she didn’t want to because she felt like they dulled her personality, she got to make out with super hot doctors during her manic highs, and she felt very sexy and fearless ( this didn’t seem so bad to me) this is the only thing I thought bipolar disorder was, they showed a little of the lows, but she lived through them and I was no stranger to depression, especially post- stroke,As I say in my set I got through it with a handful of benzos and a fistful of lunchmeat and the movie Pacific Rim on repeat, I didn’t realize how low a manic low could be, I also learned about bipolar disorder by watching the movie The Silver Linings Playbook, I even wrote a blog post about my love for that movie and the foresight in that post is insane. This is all leading up to my own recent diagnosis of bipolar 2 disorder, rapid onset,which I never knew even existed.

This past week. I was laid off from a job it had taken months to find, I had the job for two months and I liked it, and was feeling like I was getting my mojo back as far as comedy and being a decent, present mom again, my personal, dating life was non-existent but I had gotten so used to that it was a non-issue. that lay off, and some other things I over thought to the point of constant anxiety, both of which should have been small blips on the radar of my life, turned into reasons to actually plan ending my life. I Googled all of the pills I had in my house and according to Yahoo answers,even my pills were failures and I didn’t have enough of what I needed to actually do me in, and I had no money to go buy sleeping pills and I didn’t want my children to find my body (somehow this was worse in my mind than them not having a mom at all for the rest of their lives). I thought I could go out in my neighborhood, maybe my neighbor’s yard and die there (that’ll teach you to steal my fucking lemons from the lemon tree in my yard) but then the thought of being peed on by dogs, grossed me out and I decided then that I needed to not be alone so I called my friend Cara and she came over bearing ice cream for me and alcohol for her, I told her of all my plans and said I would call my psychologist tomorrow but if I was honest they would commit me for having a plan. Tomorrow came and I called and he said “skip coming here at all go right to the Psychiatric Hospital” and I did and they asked me to voluntarily sign in which I decided to do, the psych hospital happens to be connected to the rehab hospital where I spent several weeks right after my stroke, I bring this up because the first day I was there the tech from the rehab side who had tested my INR (coumadin level), came to test my INR on the psych side, he said ” so how have you been?” and I said “I’m in a psych hospital, so what do you think?” he said “there’s no shame in that your life has gone through a major strain just after the stroke alone, whatever brought you here means you were living it and that’s a good thing” ” living it as an absolute failure” then I had to go in for an initial evaluation with the staff psychologists. Immediately I started to cry as they asked me about my past, especially careless and impulsive actions with no thoughts of consequences….umm…that’s kind of been my “thing” my whole life, I fly by the seat of my pants, it’s part of being creative, right? I won’t go into detail but I’m very lucky I didn’t end up a Lifetime movie of the week, they asked about manic episodes of staying up all night with scattered thoughts, that’s creativity too, right? I would do that and write(some people clean) not this girl, sadly. those things coupled with my extreme depression and suicidal thoughts over admittedly minor things, and my super high score on the depression test detailing my feelings of being a worthless failure and awful person in general, the doctors mentioned bipolar 2 as a diagnosis, but didn’t officially give me that diagnosis that day but many days after several more meetings with psychologists and group therapy sessions, and mentioned starting me on a mood stabilizer called Lamictal and staying at the hospital for a few days, by this time I resigned myself to it and said sure, I walked into the common room with all the other patients and was struck by the range of ages, Living in a college town, I was expecting mostly college age people but this mental health shit didn’t discriminate, there were college aged people all the way up to a 90-year-old. I plopped down in a huge blue chair and sat there so much, they started referring to it as “Amy’s chair”, I quickly learned that this was very different from the rehab side, and almost the exact opposite in the sense that we were constantly busy with therapies over there to the point of exhaustion, here we had  group, psychologist meetings, and food every two hours and a library cart where I chose a novel called “Catching Genius” that I read in one day. I looked around that first day and couldn’t find a thing that I could use to kill myself (which I’m sure is by design), but we did have DVD’s in the common room and I thought I could break one of those and slice open my wrist if I needed to but I wanted the movie to be something funny, like Die Hard, death by Die Hard struck me as amusing,Luckily we didn’t have the movie Die Hard, I got my first dose of Lamictal and within hours I was feeling a bit better, I was on suicide watch still so every 15 minutes, I had to talk to a nurse and tell them how I was feeling, I guess I wasn’t progressing as fast as they wanted so they raised my dosage. Quickly, we became comrades in this place together, some like me were there voluntarily, but most had been baker acted and were planning to make things as difficult as possible for not only the staff but themselves. One night there was a coup over the tv and one of the patients who referred to himself as “the court jester” took a vote (written on the back of a coloring sheet written in crayon) but he soon found that the techs intervened after he got unruly because he wanted to watch football and when he couldn’t he wrote 1-900- abuse (in crayon again) and slipped it under the door to the always locked nurses station. they did not find that amusing in the least. It was 8:30 but I went to bed at this time. I heard the next morning over breakfast that “the court jester” had a full-blown fit and called his mom and a lawyer. he was mad at all of us for several days. After I finished my book I passed the time playing cards and coloring, I colored a Halloween picture of a minion that said ” Going Batty”, I found that delightful but this just cemented my knowledge that I am a horrible artist.There weren’t many DVD’s or tapes to watch but there was the Blue Collar Comedy Tour but I made it clear that if forced to watch that I would become homicidal (I chose my words carefully because had I said suicidal, I wouldn’t have been out in 3 days, they would have made me stay longer) There were some beautiful things to be found in this harsh environment, however, we were allowed to go outside in the courtyard if accompanied by a staff member, someone had written in chalk “not all those who wander are lost”by J.R.R. Tolkien, one of my dear late friend Brett’s favorite authors, someone also drew a kick-ass picture of a giraffe that made me happy. In group we had to write a plan for our after care for trigger events to prevent a relapse or what to do if we do relapse. I realized while writing my plan that I have a HUGE support system in friends and family and I can live with this bipolar 2, and most importantly, I want to live. I’ll forever be under the care of psychologists, therapists, psychiatrists, but all of these people want me to succeed (whatever that looks like).

I think it’s extremely important to find what works for you, I’ve seen the meme about just taking a walk in the woods when you’re depressed and not needing to take any meds (brought to you by Tom Cruise I presume) I can tell you if I had taken a walk in the woods the day I checked in, I would have found the sharpest stick I could have and plunged it into my chest, pharmaceuticals and extensive therapy is what I needed. find what you need and if you are feeling worthless and un- loveable like I was, take a chance on yourself and get some help. Speak kindly to yourself, be your own advocate. You’re worth it and let’s lift the stigma surrounding mental illness, let’s talk about it.

1 (800) 273-8255

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week
Languages: English, Spanish

Good as NEW

20 Feb

good as new

It is well-documented that I have had my share of broken hearts.  This blog became way too “Dear Diary” for a while, but when I need to process something, I write, and I needed to process my feelings about tumbling headfirst into something (someone) that ended up hurting me and I wrote about it at length and made everybody uncomfortable in the meantime but if Taylor Swift can turn her heartbreak into songs that make her a lot of money then why can’t my blog do the same? Yeah, it can’t. I cannot guarantee that I won’t devote a large portion of this blog to future broken hearts, but I can almost guarantee that there WILL be future broken hearts, because YOLO. I think I am reaching the age where I will not be able to use YOLO and not sound silly. What? I reached that age 20 years ago? That term wasn’t even around then.  I think I see the point.

While I am absolutely over the particular situation that plunged my blog into having the same emotional maturity as a Sweet Valley High book, and in fact, me and the guy I tumbled for (no, not Boy George) are friends, when I was going through my little melodrama, I kept hearing the same things over and over. Those things were said with the best of intentions (hopefully, or some of you really hate me and are passive aggressive jerks) but they were just not helpful.

In the interest of being helpful and friendly (though who am I kidding, I just told someone I’m not getting any friendlier and I have nothing and nobody to blame. I was born this way. Like Lady Gaga) I thought I would compile an easy to use list of things that are acceptable to say to your friend who is nursing a broken heart.  To make things easier on me, I will be using the pronoun HE.

  • Instead of saying – You dodged a bullet, which did nothing but make me feel like a HUGE masochist because at that time all I wanted was to be shot with that particular bullet over and over again, try saying I PROMISE, you will feel better. I am here to listen. Time will help. Let me buy you a drink/ice cream/clothes to soften the blow. 
  • He  is acting like this because he got scared of the powerful feelings he was having for you. While I do particularly enjoy this one, because it lets me live within the delusion that someone was so damn enamored with me that they would rather thrust themselves onto the sword of douchebaggery to try and drive me away rather than just face up to their feelings, their oh so strong and real feelings for me, I have sadly seen the movie He’s Just Not That Into You enough to know that is probably not the case.  Saying this makes you sort of an enabler and it is not helpful in the long run.  Try saying I PROMISE, you will feel better. I am here to listen.  Time will help. Let me buy you a drink/ice cream/clothes to soften the blow. 
  • Telling someone you were way too good for him anyway is kind of like the first bullet (HA…bullet about a bullet). At the time it is usually said, it’s difficult to wrap your head around the fact that someone deemed not good enough for you, was at that very moment rejecting you. It’s like Inception or something and I still have not seen that movie but I will continue to reference it when I feel it is appropriate.  So this means I am actually not even good enough for the people who are not good enough for me? This leaves me with no options whatsoever as far as dating. Those who are not good enough for me don’t want me, those who are too good for me presumably don’t either. This is the definition of Forever Alone.  Try saying I PROMISE, you will feel better. I am here to listen. Time will help. Let me buy you a drink/ice cream/clothes to soften the blow. 

Perhaps you are noticing a trend. In all seriousness,  my friends did an excellent job coaching me through my broken heart(s) and holding my hand and letting me angrily text them that YEAH, that guy IS acting like a jerk, and I DO deserve better, and I DID dodge a bullet, but I had to come to those conclusions on my own.

Being the one with the broken heart sucks, but being in the position of helping a friend try to recover from one is not very fun either. You all were right, I feel better, and in part it’s because you all were there to listen to my incessant rambling.  Also, I couldn’t help but notice that there was a disturbing lack of drinks/ice cream/clothing bought for me in my time of need. It’s okay, you can catch me on the flip.

thank_you_for_being_a_friend

PS  – I so greatly appreciate every single person who tried to make me feel better and cheer me up at that time. Every comment those blogs received, every text message, every Facebook message, every Tweet.  Thank you and much love to you all.

Look to Miss Piggy for REAL Guidance

13 Dec

As I try to crawl out of Amyland and pick up the pieces of my heart and start to move the hell on, I want to recognize that I am thankful for a few things  –

1) This is not a bad thing. Having a broken heart means that I was open and vulnerable and I tried. If you had asked me years ago if I was ever going to have deep enough feelings for someone so that they could break my heart  I would have said hell no. Not going down that path again. But, I did. And I will again.

2) When trying to make a list of things that you don’t like about someone, and the only thing on the list is “wants to date other people”,  that is really all you need to remember, unless you’re okay with that then fine. If you’re me,  it’s not fine. And here we are.

3) My friends, including my ex-husband and his girlfriend, and my sister, are amazingly supportive.

One of my friends named Cara, and I’m fortunate to have two friends named Cara, one long distance and one right here in town, reminded me of someone I have looked to for advice and guidance more than once in my life.

miss-piggy

Miss Piggy

I have been a big fan of Miss Piggy and her sense of humor, her sense of self, and her sense of style for as long as I can remember.  In elementary school a girl told me that I reminded her of Miss Piggy. I was so flattered until I realized she meant it as an insult. This girl continued to tell me that the boy I had a crush on was Kermit. She was trying to say that he was skinny and little and I was big and fat. Turns out this girl was kind of a bitch.

I would be totally flattered to be told that I remind one of Miss Piggy. I used to watch her on the Muppet Show when I was a kid, and I marveled at her confidence. I played with Barbie dolls. I played with them until I was a teenager in fact. I also had a Miss Piggy doll. My dolls all played together. They all swam in my ghetto version of a Barbie pool, a giant Tupperware bowl, together.  In my mind, Miss Piggy talked to Barbie about waking up to the fact that Ken was more into the Donny Osmond doll than her, and they shared makeup tips, mainly eye shadow application techniques.

I credit Miss Piggy, because of her ever-present lavender ones, for introducing me to the world of opera length gloves, which I memorably wore to the opening event of the Dick Tracy movie at MGM Studios in Orlando. I wore black opera length gloves with a white lace shorts suit, that is shorts and a jacket, with a black bustier underneath. STOP LAUGHING, IT WAS THE 80’s.  My date was my Brett, who I made wear a tuxedo. We were both very overdressed, and he was mad at me until we got there and discovered the free booze and food.  I learned a valuable lesson that night about not mixing whiskey sours and escargot. Actually, the lesson was more learned the next day, when I went out to my car and saw where  I had thrown up on the way home and it didn’t make it further than outside the passenger side of the car, and there, swimming in a pool of vomit and whiskey, were perfectly formed snails.

Miss Piggy knows who she is. She revels in who she is.  She doesn’t let other people tell her who she should be, or how she should behave.  When having a hard time, ask yourself, WWMPD? What would Miss Piggy do…and go from there. Here are just a few pearls of wisdom from the blonde bombshell.

You have to be going to a pretty awful place if getting there is half the fun.

There is no one on the planet to compare with moi.

Express your feelings all the time unless you’re trying to hide something.

There is the satisfaction of providing your public with a vision of true beautology, true sytlisity, – how can I put it? – true glamorositude.

Only time can heal a broken heart, just as only time can heal his broken arms and legs.

piggy

I’ll Stick to my Own Rules, Thank You

8 Dec

the rules

I just wrote a post a few days ago about being a “leaper”, meaning, someone who jumps in wholeheartedly with both feet into love, and how this is all well and good until you find yourself jumping into a swimming pool void of water, then you’re there, alone, with a broken heart, but that in the end, it is worth it and that I will ALWAYS be a leaper.

Sadly, I find the very nature of any kind of broken heart, whether it’s after 20 years, or 6 months (and mine falls in the 6 month category. What can I say, I fell fast and hard) is the equivalent of being on a roller coaster. Not the most original metaphor, but it is accurate. I could try to make it more timely and say that it is like being on a flight simulator, but I think roller coaster does the trick.  I am not feeling very much like a leaper right now, unless that leaping is a swan dive out of polite society to live humbly with my children, never speaking of dating again. Just hanging it up. Never mind. I had a good run. Let’s just call it a day.

In one weekend I have gone from feeling pretty okay to terribly sad to literally Googling “Does he miss me?” which let’s face it, is pretty pathetic (according to Google he probably does, so  thanks for that Google.) Google also directed me to brush up on The Rules. Remember this book? Back in the 1990’s you couldn’t swing one of Madonna’s pointy bras without hitting some woman who was RAVING about how this book changed her life and helped her nab the man of her dreams. All she had to do was behave like an entitled spoiled princess, and this presumably was the milkshake that brought all the boys to her yard.

I have never been much for rules in general. Blame the fact that I’m an Aquarius, and it is constantly the dawning of me, but besides obeying the very important rules that accompany flying (listen to the damn flight attendants) and obeying crossing signals (BIG RED HAND MEANS DON’T WALK), I consider myself someone who doesn’t take kindly to being told what to do for the most part.

I recently re-read The Rules and by recently, I mean within the last 2 days, not broken heart related exactly, but I found it when unpacking and gave it another go. Hell, maybe I could learn something, since I seem to suck so much at all things romantic. Very soon after starting to re-read it, I remembered what I disliked so much about it when I read it the first time, back when it came out, and now that I am the mother of two boys, it’s even more apparent. This book presents men like they are, for lack of a better term, dumbasses. Women come off no better for we are sorceresses just spinning our webs and waiting to ensnare some poor hapless dumbass to call our very own.

An ongoing theme in the book is that we women really have no say in our own romantic lives. I should wait for the man to contact me, I need to be vague, I need to remain as neutral and non-interested in the man as possible. This book is essentially the EXACT opposite of who I am as a person. I am a wear my heart on my sleeve oh my god you’re so funny please think I’m funny and let’s be in love together for as long as we are then let’s part and have good feelings about each other and not regret anything.  While my flavor of milkshake seems to be of the “thanks but no thanks and good luck to you in your future endeavors” variety, I have more respect for men as human beings than to adhere to this particular set of rules.

If you live by these rules and swear by them,then more power to you. Good for you.  I admit, there are a lot of things I should work on. I am a work in progress. I will never be someone who just stops growing, though right now I’m stuck in the maddening head space of all of a sudden not feeling smart enough or pretty enough or kind enough or cool enough or sexy enough, because of one person. One person who was nothing but nice, which sadly doesn’t make it any easier. Something I don’t think I need to work on though is how to be more aloof. Screw that. I will stick to my assertion that someday, even sans rules, someone will join me in my heart on my sleeve oh my god you’re so funny please think I’m funny and let’s be in love together for as long as we are then let’s part and have good feelings about each other and not regret anything kind of love.

Of course, tomorrow may be another feeling all together, but that’s okay. I have my own set of rules and they haven’t failed me yet –

1) Be kind
2) Love yourself
3) Embrace whatever feeling you’re feeling and know it is okay
4) No shame or guilt for authentic feelings

As far as rules for “man nabbing”….no idea. None at all.  I think the best I can do is abide by my life rules and not forget that even though I am a work in progress, that I am enough right now, dammit. Right this very second.

day onew

J. A. Allen

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