Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Here Comes Your 19th Nervous Breakdown.

Cracklin' Rosie! Another exam tomorrow. I hesitate studying at any great length until tonight, for a number of reasons, the least of which not being the fact that I'm afraid if I study too early, I'll forget it all by tomorrow morning, because drugs and alcohol damaged my brain and coincidentally, a third of the exam is on drugs and alcohol. Again, this test is on: Depression, bipolar disorder, substance abuse, suicide and eating disorders. Apart from a "completed" suicide (obviously) and bulimia (why would I make myself throw up when I throw up so often naturally?), I've dealt with this whole subset of topics in some form or another. As a result, I got 100% on every quiz this week, which is a saving grace.

Between the quizzes and my immense-to-the-point-of-annoying level of class participation this week, and having finished at least the Power Point presentation portion of my research project on Bipolar II, I'm feeling marginally less depressed, about school anyway. My Power Point is 22 slides long. The professor said we needed at least 6 slides. I was feeling inspired.

In the course of the week thus far, I've actually educated the class more than the professor has, from a life-experience, practical standpoint, anyway. I felt old, dated and crotchety being the only one in class who eye-rolled her way through an explanation of who Karen Carpenter was, who The Carpenters were during the anorexia lecture, the other 18 students having been born during the early-to-mid 1990's, with zero frame of reference. I felt justifiably baffled yet no less dated blurting out that "Mother's Little Helper" was a Rolling Stones and not a Beatles song during the lecture on barbituates. (I was like, "Come on, if you don't know the difference between the Stones and the Beatles, I'm relying on you to educate me WHY, exactly?") I quickly shared my experience with anorexia and body dysmorphic disorder, citing the physical ramifications of the disorder and why, subjectively I still view myself as fat, to which the professor said, "Poor baby." I wasn't soliciting sympathy. I was explaining my intolerance to cold temperatures and the fine, blond, downy fuzz on parts of me, lanugo, that's normally only otherwise seen on premature infants (it's on my cheeks and neck and hardly noticeable).

But at no time was the professor more "Holy Shitted" out than when SHE said, "Opiod withdrawal requires hospitalization," which landed my hand firmly in the air. "Not really," I said. I went on, "Real junkies? On the street?..." which drew the class to attentive silence, "You take megadoses of Immodium, like 40mg at a time," at which point the professor interrupted me. She said, "And THEN what?" I said, "Well, the standard dose for diarrhea is 2mg, so for opioid withdrawal, you take 20 pills at a time, and taper off, because Immodium is a morphine-based chemical compound and takes the withdrawal symptoms away." "So you get a high that way?" she asked. "No," I said. "It doesn't cross over into the bloodstream, which is why it's sold over-the-counter," I told her. "Wow, I've NEVER heard of doing that before," she said. I wanted to, but didn't say, "Honest to Christ? In 30 years of clinical practice, you've never heard of the Immodium trick?" (In all fairness, my hapless PCP, Stosh, nor Guy Friend, had heard of it either when I first told them. Stosh, at least, thought it made chemical sense and green-lighted it, albeit extremely unconventional.) That, my friends, is what having clean, fine, upstanding recovering user friends is for, as opposed to all of you straight ass dweebs who fall asleep after one Vicodin. (Would you believe Guy Friend's never had a SINGLE Vicodin in his ENTIRE life? Either he's a) never had surgery, b) never even had his wisdom teeth extracted, c) didn't experiment much as a young man or d) holy crap, he hasn't lived! That's ok, Guy Friend. My narcotics consumption was enough for my lifetime, your lifetime and the lifetimes of roughly half of the population in the Chicago metro area. It's probably fair to say I've outdone Guy Friend on a litany of life experiences, save for growing a mustache.)

But I digress.

I was gathering data via my Facebook friends with regard to bipolar disorder and what immediately comes to their minds when they hear the term, or what they assume the illness is about as laypeople. Uniformly, my friends figured it was "either really happy or really sad," "black and white with no gray area," or "life at one extreme or another." I explained more about the disease and debunked much of what they had in their heads as "manic-depression." When one friend remembered having seen Sally Field portray a manic-depressive on the show "ER," I had vague recollections of it, having been a fan of the show. I sought out a clip, and showed this to my friends, asking them if they thought the character was in a manic or a depressive episode, or how accurately they thought it was portrayed.

In case it's not blatantly obvious, that's an acute full-blown mania with psychosis, on an unmedicated patient with Bipolar I. (As you know, The character, Abby, makes a grave mistake in telling Dr. Luka that her mom's behavior is "part the disease." which is what sent Sally Field (Maggie) into bipolar psychosis. ( I'm Bipolar II with mixed-mood episodes, so I never get THIS nuts.) Though if you want to get technical, an ER doctor wouldn't be ordering a medication for her own mother in a grossly emergent situation, they'd sort of need to know her weight to know how much Haldol to administer, and, barring the time to start an IV line, would give the injection intramuscularly, the onset of effectiveness NOT immediate enough to totally knock her out. (Haldol is an anti-psychotic most often used with schizophrenics, for one thing. Secondly, if that were me ordering the meds, I'd knock her out with barbituates and start a Haldol IV drip to ease the psychosis, keeping her restrained the whole time.) 

Tomato/tomahto, though. It's a DRAMA, meant to be DRAMATIC. And why can't doctors look like Luka's character in real life? Where is Goran Visjnic now, anyway, except *not* in my bed? I mean, Jesus Christ. Why yes, as a matter of fact. I do have a thing for guys with dark hair and blue eyes.

Even when I was manic and unmedicated, while I'd have paranoid quasi-delusions (like the one I had about Chris and a girl he was romancing on the side dismembering me and throwing me into Lake Michigan), had racing thoughts, engaged in risky life behaviors (over-spending, over-sexing indiscriminately, over-eating, over-drinking, over-drugging, cutting, having the cops visit me, etc.), I never had a full-blown episode of psychotic mania, luckily. Full-blown major depression? Sure. What separates Bipolar I and Bipolar II is the severity of the mania and the evidence of a major depressive episode within a given amount of time. I had, and still have, hypomania ("smaller" mania) and depression, unfortunately most often at the same time. 

As I iterated to my class, the meds help CURB the symptoms, but nothing makes them go away completely. Stress and life changes exacerbate mania and depression. Bipolar disorder has the highest mortality rate of any of the mood disorders, save for the mortality rate of anorexia. Why? Suicide. Why suicide? Because bipolar disorder is a really fucking intolerable way to live, and a lot of desperate, unfortunate, hopeless people (the majority of whom aren't on meds for any number of reasons) would honestly rather die. Hell, I'm on a crapload of high doses of meds and there are days when I question why the fuck I'm hanging around for this circus. Then I think about Luke, if nothing else, and press onward, revealing my desperation to few.

Having serious reservations over the weekend about my career path, I was surprisingly cemented back into being a therapist by virtue of my living out loud about my struggles with bipolar disorder. So many people persist in asking me why I'm so open about it, why I share my experience, and how I can *not* be ashamed of it or feel stigmatized for having it. "Aren't you embarrassed?" they ask. No, I'm not. "What are the negative consequences-what if a potential employer knows? What if you're treated differently?  Why do you talk about it so much? (Uh, because it's as intrinsic in my daily functioning as showering or feeding myself.) What if? What if?" 

Here's a good "What if?"... WHAT IF it helps somebody?

Which is a question that's been answered too many times for me to count at this point. Strangers, friends, acquaintances, and family members will invariably solicit me for advice or direction regarding all of my mental disorders and my addictions, and if I know I've helped even one person, that's God's calling for me, not teaching bonehead college students how to write. 

Without going into detail, it happened last night, when I was ready to put myself to rest, when an old friend emailed me about her symptomatic and very ill bipolar husband who is med and therapy resistant, after she'd seen my recent posts on my research project. Knowing I'm in school and busy, she told me to take my time in replying, but to me, the sooner I addressed the issue with her the better, because the safety of a young child is involved and my friend is suffering emotional and verbal abuse and manipulation. 

That being understood, and while by no means excusing her husband's actions and reactions, I pleaded with her to first accept that, in all likelihood (as she herself described), her husband wasn't a bad person. He is a sick person who needs a lot of professional help. Men, historically, are far more resistant than women in seeking professional counseling for mental disorders, as it is a gender-reflective emasculation to some degree. A sign of weakness, when it's totally not. Getting help is an empowering thing, and necessary if you want to continue to function. Without full knowledge of what meds he's on, it was tough for me to give an opinion either way about what might need pharmaceutical adjustment, but clearly his doctors have some tweaking to do. (Even I need tweaking. And soon.) And I'm not a physician OR a psychologist...yet. I do have a veritable well of exhaustive practical experience, however and a copy of the Physicians Desk Reference.

The rest of the advice I dispensed? I'm not sure if was of any help or not. I shared my experience in dealing with this illness and how it's affected my relationships and my lifestyle, and again told my friend to try and find, though she's considering divorce, that place in her heart where she loved her husband in the first place (they're still technically newlyweds). Why she chose to marry him, even knowing he was ill. At the same time, I emphasized that the safety of herself and her little one were paramount, and that if she feels her husband is threatening to harm either of them, to get out and go somewhere safe, which fortunately, she has the resource capacity to do. She went into the marriage with the knowledge that he was bipolar, but says she didn't realize how bad it was until they were living together. I told her that unfortunately, without proper treatment and counseling, it is going to get worse before it gets better, and explained how bipolar can concurrently run with other issues, most prevalent being substance abuse or addiction, as was my case. (It's all about self-medicating the insanity inside.) I asked her what he did for a living, to see if he was a creative, just out of curiosity. 

I told my friend that the downside of being so open, and the downside of having bipolar disorder, is that it's really tough on our loved ones and friends, who exhaust over our relentless instability. I said that consequently, we lose people along the way in our lives who can't or won't accept us and the love we ARE capable of giving. It is the faith from those who stand by us unconditionally that counts. None of us enjoy being abandoned when we need love the most, even if we're acting like assholes and are unstable and challenging. I make no apologies for the inconvenience of bipolar disorder in my loved one's lives. Why? Because it's not my fault that I'm sick. It's not my friend's husband's fault either, really. Still, I can't help but wonder if there are people out there who perceive that distancing themselves from me will relieve the burden attached to me that's put in their laps. "She's so high maintenance!" is a commonality. Functioning soundly is made markedly worse when someone you love leaves you for a situation that is out of your control. I have envisions that my friend's husband, if she were to leave him, would put his own life at risk, if he continues down the path he's on.

(I've tried getting in touch with Guy Friend numerous times over the last few days, it's clear I'm still in a mixed mood episode right now, and I went so far as to pose him the questions I asked my Facebook friends about their impressions of bipolar and asked him to email me his answers. He didn't. You can only text someone so many times with no response or acknowledgment before you learn that you've inevitably been put on "ignore mode."  I'm sure he'd chalk it up to being busy, but I'm busy too. I *wanted* to go to bed last night when that email from my friend came in. I stayed up late to reply to her, because she needed a friend she could talk to and since it was important, I listened and engaged with her, for while we've known one another since we were very young children, we're not close friends who do things together. So a big thank you to Guy Friend for exacerbating the depressive episode with his indifference and silence. It's worthy of mention that I never call Guy Friend. I wait until he calls me, when it is convenient for him. I do text him a lot, though, which he used to like, but now, I assume, is really fucking tired of. At least, now I'm pretty clear on what he meant when he looked me in the eyes and said "I love you." Women take that statement differently than men do, I think.  I also now know the subtext of his statement of "I'll never abandon you." It was "unless it becomes inconvenient for me, because being your friend isn't very important to me and, similar to your family, I  tolerate you, though unlike your family, I wouldn't insult you so gravely by actually saying that." I understand, Guy Friend. It's happened to me before. Rejection is a sensation that, once it becomes the rule, rather than the exception, in your life, you're more resilient. A broken heart full of scar tissue mends in time, but afterwards, your heart is left hardened and more jaded, and you get used to it, because it's all you know. And you might know a lot about hearts, but I know a lot more about love.)

(Update: Early Thurs morning:  he emailed me extremely briefly this morning and said he'd call over the weekend "to see what mood I'm in." Uh, m'kay. My mood at present? Tired and bleak.)

My research paper this weekend, due Monday, is on Bipolar II and has to be 8 double-spaced pages. That's roughly the duration of half of any given blog and is on the dry DSM-IV-TR clinical explanation of the disorder. Let's blindfold me and have me type it out in my sleep, thank you. I'll tackle that on Sunday. 

Guy Friend? This one's for you. I don't think any written dissertation (separate from my dissertation on bipolar disorder) on the song is required:

In my friend's case, her husband is totally resisting that which would benefit him the most, which is really sad. 

 I revel in my unique situation. It makes me giddy that my version of bipolar is so rare that it's undocumented as wrote diagnosis in the DSM-IV-TR. I try and make light of it as much as I possibly can, given the circumstances. Helping people and having a few laughs at my own expense is the least I can do living with this illness. Hypomanic episodes, while I wouldn't constitute them as "fun" or really "happy" are easier to tolerate and less taxing than depressive episodes. The combo platter symptoms which are typical for me? They're mostly "sleep for 3 hours, awaken charged, do what you have to do, completely burn out and require a nap by noon, and after the nap, spend the rest of the day pretty hopeless and get the bare essentials accomplished, like making coffee for the next morning when you awaken before dawn charged again after 3 hours of sleep." And, so, the rapid or ultradian-cycling continues. Rapid-cycling is alternating moods every few days, which does happen to me. At my sickest, however, I experience ultradian-cycling, which is an expressed change in moods over the course of a few HOURS. Trust me when I say, it's really exhausting and the non-bipolars' suggestions to go out and get some exercise are ludicrous. Your "energy" is 90% mental and 10% physical, and whereas you could sit down and crank out an entire book, you don't have the energy to shower. Blessed with a helpful mother and relatively independent son help me out a lot. That said, what is probably the hardest thing to do while in ANY episode? Hide it from my loved ones and pretend I'm fine, for fear I'll be chastised for either extreme mood, which is too familiar.

Back to the books for the exam, though it's essentially a review of a lot of shit I already lived through.  It's a shame I have to go through all this psychology mumbo-jumbo in order to professionally help people. True, I have a better historical and practical understanding of the concepts and principles at hand, but in the real world? The world of the insane and the addicted? Life is very different than how it's outlined in my textbook. Very different than what my professor, a PhD in clinical psychology, deals with in her practice, which is largely children and adolescents. (I do know she farms out her substance-abusing patients, because she has no knowledge as to how to treat them and actually proposed the idea to the class, via the textbook, that "controlled drinking" was a better choice for recovering alcoholics than abstaining and utilizing a program like AA, which is total bullshit. A great concept that has no basis in reality, as any alcoholic will attest. Step One: We admit that we are powerless over alcohol. But let's partake of a glass of wine once in a while! Won't hurt a fly! Never mind that one drink will become 8 drinks through the course of the night...)Thanks, but Communion wine is all I'm going to imbibe in for the duration of my life, continuing to bravely walk past the liquor sample guy at the drug store en route to the pharmacy...

UPDATE, SUNDAY NIGHT: Guy friend never did call me this weekend.


Anonymous said...

This whole post is just wrong, Annie. Kudos to you for helping your friend, regardless of the desire to sleep. You're the epitome of the definition of a loyal friend. I know you're a slave to the system, but you need your medication changed yourself. I'm worried about you. I've watched your functioning deteriorate, as is evident in your blogs, which grow darker by the day (that one on anti-marriage is a good example). I honestly think Guy Friend does love you but a) he's emotionally immature and b) is kind of like Craig, who instead of acting in a loving manner and being there for you, left you for dead because he didn't know how to love you. I know you and know you're high maintenance, but the people we grow to love, we don't choose to love or not love. We just love. The rewards of loving Guy Friend don't match up to the loyalty you're willing to give him. I know that sucks. It's like your family--if they actually paid attention to how you feel, and if you were honest with them, maybe they'd be more compassionate and accommodating. The Johnny Cash was a little harsh, though, don't you think? Don't give up just yet. I know what you're referring to when you use the term "shitpickles." (A good one!) But, my dear, it's an uphill battle, as is your life at present. (You hate this phrase, but) Hang in there!

Andrea Miklasz said...

I absolutely dread the idea of the first session w/the new therapist tomorrow, to start over. (If you've read my past entries, she's the one who didn't even know what NSSI stood for, and I was irked that I had to explain it. Perhaps she'd prefer I fucking show her.)

I have an appt for a psychiatric assessment on Aug 6th, after which it'll be 2-4 weeks before I will get to see a psychiatrist. Until then, my PCP has to keep me on the same doses of the same meds I've been taking for almost 4 years and can't abruptly stop taking whatsoever or I'll, literally, instantaneously become the Sally Field "ER" clip.

I was happy to help my friend and didn't feel intruded upon or interrupted at all, though I was really tired. I'm of the belief and the credo that when someone reaches out to you, you take them seriously and do what you're equipped to do as expeditiously as possible. While I was mad at my own friends at the time for having done so, I don't regret that they called 911 on me at my old apartment when I called them, suicidal and drunk at 2am one night (several years ago). I've trained my brain to discount and dismiss suicidal ideations, regardless of my despair, because I have a child to raise.

I thought, at the time I posted it, that "Hurt" was an appropriate emotion to relay to Guy Friend, even with the knowledge that he probably doesn't have time or isn't interested in listening to it. I'm sure he'll call me this weekend, but I wouldn't hold my breath at the idea of him actually talking about how he feels about anything, honestly. He's more of a "man" than Craig, but then again, Luke is also more of a man than Craig.(I guess you could say measuring the manliness of the men I'm close to is fruitless, even Best Male Friend, who, if he was also TRULY a man, wouldn't be in the situation he's in either.)

I can't let my family see me crack. My mother will threaten to involuntarily have me institutionalized and my son needs me to be strong. I, in turn, need others to turn to.

If you know what I mean by "shitpickles," then you must know me pretty fucking well, your comment anonymous, however. Thank you for the kind words. And yes, "Hang in there" is one of my least-favorite phrases on earth. I should post the hyperlink to the exhaustive list of the "worst things you can say to someone who's bipolar" that I sent Guy Friend. Paraplegics still have no legs, even though we're inclined to tell them to have a brighter outlook on life and things'll turn around. My brain is sick. What can you do?

Anonymous said...

One thing you can do, sweetie, is find a way to accept the limitations of the people you love in the very way you long for them to accept yours. No, it is not your fault that you are bipolar. But it is a challenge, and not one everyone is equipped to handle. That Guy Friend cannot be totally consumed by you doesn't mean he doesn't care. It means only that he has limitations and other people in his life who also need and deserve his love. We can all only stretch ourselves so thin.

It saddens me to hear your shred Craig the way you do. Perhaps mostly because I know in your heart of hearts that you do not really mean it. He has been very good to you, through so many trials. Did he handle your issues perfectly? I'm sure he did not. Did you? You know he has loved you in the best ways he can.

Your new therapist may not be asking what NSSI means because she's ignorant, but rather because she wants to know what you understand by it. Be open to her. Understand that while you undoubtedly understand things about yourself that she does not yet, she also understands things that you do not. Be open, be humble. Accept BMF and GF and Craig and the therapist for who they are and where they are right now and they will do the same for you.

Andrea Miklasz said...

This ultradian cycling is for the birds. (That's when you cycle from hypomania to depression over and over in a matter of hours, not days.) I tend to shoot my mouth off and my emotions pour out in the context of the only outlet I know: writing.

In the session yesterday w/the new therapist, every issue I addressed was met with a simple "I hear you." She offered me no practical, cognitive behavioral ways to change my morose lines of thinking. If you, anonymous commentor #2, know that already from reading my Facebook, you saw how frustrated I was (the triskaidekaphobia test, which she failed, was me being arrogant and superior). She knows I'm ultradian cycling, and I wished that, in our session, she would've been more "involved" in the therapy, because my larger issue was "how am I supposed to survive this without my meds being adjusted for another month? I'll go mad."

I was acutely mad at Craig in that blog. No, I don't really harbor ill will against him (usually), except for the fact that no, he didn't and should have taken charge & had me committed or rehabbed against my will way back when I was addicted to narcs. Instead, he sat idly by while I destroyed the family and didn't fight to keep us together. THAT I'm not over yet. I love Craig, I truly do, but I sort of agreed with Anonymous Commentor #1.

I know I compare BMF and GF a lot, and they're polar opposites emotionally and BMF has a lot more emotionally invested in me. BMF could be halfway around the world, in a time zone 8 hours apart, and if I reach out to him (unless he's mid-performing), he'll text me back or call me immediately. I'm USED to that. GF's doing the best he can, I suppose, but when I overtly lean on him (usually via text or email), he still doesn't respond, which in turn makes me feel like he doesn't love me at all. (Yes, I'm an admitted attention whore. Comes w/the territory of being high-maintenance and acutely near-psychotic.)

The doses of the meds, at least, curb the compulsions to NSSI and use alcohol, so they're working in that respect. The mood stabilizer, in my opinion, needs to be increased, but I need an MD to do that.

I'm physically and emotionally exhausted. I arrived at band last night severely depressed, spent some time with my Pastor and my band, and cycled back into chipper, chatty hypomania and had a hard time settling down last night, though I was really tired. I forewarned Pastor about my condition, and he and the band were very sympathetic and understanding. They made me laugh a lot, which I hadn't done in days.

True, I struggle with being accepted but at the same time, don't accept my loved ones for their limitations. That's my neurosis to manage.

Thanks for your perspective. I do appreciate it.

best male friend said...

Inhale, woman. Exhale. I really don't like being grouped together with your ex-husband and your "guy friend" in a battle over who's the manliest. I never, ever thought my masculinity was in question regarding the way I treat you. You know my opinion of both of those men. You and I both know that we're each hard to love and be around sometimes, and you really need to be more forgiving towards your ex-husband. "Guy friend?" I just. don't. get. it. I agree with him on one point alone: your heart is TOO DAMN BIG.

You also know our personal situation and that it can't change right now. Believe me, I love the shitpickles out of you, and will love you for eternity, and do my best to lift you up, not bring you down, and I pat myself on the back for doing a pretty damn good job. And no, I don't feel like I'm picking up the slack missing from your other friends. You're my favorite head case in the whole wide world.

You're not an attention whore. You're just a whore! :) Now don't you have drums to go bang?

Andrea Miklasz said...

BMF, I am sorry I raised questions as to your level of masculinity. I meant it in relation to our predicament, which I know is unchangeable at the present moment. I understand and accept that. In hindsight, it doesn't make you less of a man. It makes you more of a man, though it's hardly ideal from my perspective.

You typically keep a really low profile on my site, so I think I must have struck a nerve for you to comment as yourself.

You DO do a great job of lifting me up when we talk or Skype. You're a source of joy in my life. Your patience is boundless. I think what makes us difficult to love for others makes it easy for us to love one another.

I often think about the book, and the song you sent that said this:

"I am yours, however distant you may be. There blows no wind but wafts your scent to me. There sings no bird but calls your name to me. Each memory that has left its trace in me lingers forever as if part of me."

I also remember what you said about Guy Friend last year, but I assure you, none of which sparked the comment is happening, so quit dwelling on it.

I really should get my passport renewed.

Jenny said...

You know I agree with you BMF, BREATHE!!!!!! We need to wipe that "Guy Friend" out of that big heart of yours so it can heal and you can continue to love those who love you the most!!!!
Love ya lots!!!!

best male friend said...

@Jenny: Here I thought you were "Anonymous 1." Annie, figure out who that is.

How do you think I got to be "best male friend" in the first place?

To me, Annie's got the 3 B's": Brains, Beauty and Balls (not always in that order).

She got my shit together when I needed her most and I owe her big time. I'm not perfect and neither is our relationship, and neither is Annie, but I adore that girl and "guy friend" isn't being very good to her, which I find nerve wrackingly annoying, among other things.

Yes, Annie, I typically keep quiet on social media when it comes to you/us, but I keep up with it all and had to speak.

@Jenny, you're in Chicago. Make sure she's still breathing.


Anonymous said...


I am Annies sponosor in AA and friend. She has told me alot about you and how much you mean to each other. Even being out of the country when she was in the hospital and she received your flowers was a total uplift for her. Throughout time we have developed more of a friendship than sponsor/sponsee.
Though I do call her on her shit and she has pointed things out to me that I didnt see in myself. We are sisters in recovery, in Christ and a special bond of friendship. I am glad that you are here for her even miles away. As far as the "Guy Friend" goes she knows exactly how I feel about her allowing him to rent space in her mind and soul rent free !!!! I am her for her on whichever way it goes and dont worry she will continue to breathe as long as she stays around me.

Love to both of you J

Jenny said...

That wasnt meant to be anonymous. I have nothing to hide like some others.

Andrea Miklasz said...

Wow, I'm really feeling the love! I have NO idea who Anonymous Commentor #1 was. It's not in Kate's signature style, so it's not her. Nor do I know who left the other anonymous comment, the one who called me "sweetie." It'd be ironic if it were Guy Friend, though I HIGHLY doubt it was. He never did call this weekend, not that I was surprised.

BMF leads a fast-paced, eccentric, tiring but very satisfying lifestyle and has his own agenda of responsibilities and a family, which I don't discredit. He, too, has people in his life who need and want him more than even I do, yet he still always makes time for me.But like I said before, BMF has a lot more emotionally invested in me and my well being. Everyone should have at least one friend like that in their lives.

If I think BMF's schedule is hectic and I'm feeling neglected, Guy Friend's life is remarkably dull in comparison, aside from his profession, which can consume him. Though I think that things have gone steadily downhill with him since he sprang Mrs. Guy Friend on me unexpectedly. I've suggested getting together (ideally without the added stress and antagonism of Mrs. Guy,) on numerous occasions, but he's either a) uncomfortable being alone around me, b) she put the kaibosh on our hanging out or c)he honestly doesn't want to be close and is afraid I'll fall off the deep end if that's the case. Hint: I won't. There could be many reasons why I haven't heard from Guy this weekend, though he said he'd call. I'm trying to give him the benefit of the doubt,as he worked all weekend, but I don't know. I did ask him to read some recent blogs before he called me, to save us time on the phone w/me explaining what's happening in re: my state of mind lately. Maybe he's waiting to call until after he reads. Excuses, excuses. Propinquity can't be one-sided. It's unselfish. It is mutual.

Best male friend? I see him (physically) a few times a YEAR. And we make the most of that time. He's been a naughty boy on occasions that really pissed me off, but I at least am offered a truthful explanation for when he flips out on me. But at least when BMF and I fight, he writes me love songs to apologize.

Bipolar is a "situation" that's unpleasant to the patients, the clinicians and the loved ones, all whom it affects. I made that clear. Anonymous #2 said not everyone is equipped to handle it. Guy hasn't had trouble dealing w/my ever-changing moods until now.

What does BMF get out of our relationship? Kinship. Serendipity. Like-mindedness. Passion. "Getting each other" in ways our other loved ones can't. A never-judgmental friend who cheers him on constantly. And a gift for making mix CD's for people that he taught me how to do successfully.

What does Guy get out of it? I see nothing other the bragging rights that a cute girl 17-years his junior is shitpickles about him and a big headache.I got a wise confidant whom I invited into my alternative world, that he found fascinating. Seems a little imbalanced, doesn't it? I'm supposed to be the woman in his life who gives him the least amount of hassle and shit. I'm afraid I directly contradict my role. I'm officially a nag, worse than his legally bound potential (I don't know her at all and didn't expel any energy @ my party to GET to know her.) for shit and nagging.

Our friendship is supposed to be fun, unusual and fulfilling. But idealists like me expect a lot from people and when our perceived needs aren't met, we end up horribly disappointed. Not just in regard to regard to life. Self-fulfilling prophesies are a bitch.

best male friend said...

I think in the commentary we lost sight of Annie's bigger point in the blog, which was that she wants to make a career out of helping people. Soldier, I'm sure the advice you gave your friend was full of wisdom and love, so don't worry about if it was "good enough" or not. You'll get through school because you're smart and capable, though, as you know, I can't even read a book through because of my own brain damage. You're by no means that incapacitated. Don't forget that even though drugs/alcohol killed a lot of brain cells, the more you actively use your brain, the sharper you'll be.

And no, you're not a bad person because you're bipolar. It's part of what makes you uniquely you.

When you told me last night that you finished your research paper in 3 hours, that to me was evidence of your abilities. And I couldn't help but laugh that Luke and your mom asked you if you swore in your paper. I wouldn't put it past you.

You're not "supposed" to be any kind of woman in guy friend's life other than his friend. Many blogs ago, you said that I was childish in my jealousy over guy friend. There's a difference between jealousy and envy. I'm not jealous of him. Personally, I'd take my life over his a thousand times over.

I ENVY the fact that he has access to you that I don't, and for the life of me can't figure out why he doesn't capitalize on that and see you more often, which is what I know you want. While I don't necessarily endorse it, I get it. What works for you and I doesn't work for guy friend for some reason. Too square? Even with our limitations, let's say, I'd say our relationship is more solid than yours is with guy friend. But you already know I think he's nuts.

I'm only speaking out at length in hopes he actually reads what you asked him to read, so he can get my take on matters.

I don't think, like Jenny thinks, that you should erase him from your life. He serves a purpose. But you need to accept that he and I are very different people when it comes to how much we love you and how we express it.

I'll see you in a few weeks. Can't wait.
Love, Me xoxo

best male friend said...

Oh, Annie.

In the blog, your professor didn't know "MLH" was a RS song. Unacceptable and you were right to correct her! But now you're saying you quoted "Wild Horses" to guy friend? May I ask what else you quoted and what the purpose was?

If he didn't respond, at that point, I would've championed Dylan's "Positively 4th Street" or, since it's special between you guys, The Band's "It Makes No Difference."

The Nick Lowe song you posted the other day on your blog was shitty. It's a shitty song with a shitty sentiment delivered poorly.

Between that and the dying Johnny Cash video, I really think you should go radio silent. If you insist on contradicting my advice, however, I have 2 suggestions: 1) "Oh Shit" by The Buzzcocks or 2) Dylan's "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright."

And if I catch wind that ANY of the songs you presented to me as ones you want played at your memorial service surface, I'm involuntarily committing you myself.

Andrea Miklasz said...

BMF: On the 11th, I quoted him (via text) this bit of "Wild Horses:" "I know I've dreamed you, a sin & a lie. I have my freedom, but I don't have much time. Faith has been broken. Tears must be cried. Let's do some living after we die. Wild horses couldn't drag me away. Wild, wild horses, we'll ride them someday."

For what means end? I have no idea. I was cycling in acute major depression. It was on the CD I had in the car. (So was "Angie" and Elton John's "Sorry Seems to Be The Hardest Word" and The Bee Gees' "Fanny Be Tender.." Great mix, if you want to drive your car off a bridge.)

I tried Best Coast's "Our Deal" on his last CD, but I don't think he got it. Best Coast is too peppy, I think, even when they're trying to be sad. And let's not get started down the Syd Barrett road again.

Any other suggestions? I've already given him Zep's "Traveling Riverside Blues" (mostly to be cheeky) and "I'm Gonna Crawl." In general, he finds Zep "too raunchy." Also on his last CD (which I made depressed, right after my hysterectomy) were 2 of your songs and the dreaded Harrison's "Run of the Mill." Think about how you were feeling when you sent ME "Run.."

best male friend said...

@Jenny: My best friend and I aren't trying to hide. But we sort of have to. I know that you know who we are. Annie told me, so it's cool.


And Annie? Explain this to me. 18 years, life and death experiences, thick and thin, songs for you, and guy friend gets a poem from you and I don't? That's lame, baby.

Andrea Miklasz said...

BMF: I can't write an original poem on command under pressure out of spite to appease your bruised ego. Given our history, and the breadth of experiences we've shared, it's an exhausting task to think about. Maybe in between classes I'll give you your overdue reverence.

Plus, I'm gun shy after GF's poem experience being more lackluster than the finish on a 1977 Plymouth Volare. Have mercy. It took me months to get over him not understanding my artistic expression, though I maintain that the poem, which you read, was universally beautiful.

I know I owe you one--hell, a whole book of them. There's also the intimidation factor. You've given me such intensely amazing stuff that my creative genius looks like utter retardation in comparison. Not that I have a complex or anything.

Jenny said...

@BMF - Yes, I do know and understand and I hope to meet you someday. Im sure Annie can arrange that :-) I know that GF does serve a purpose for your life Annie but as we discussed that the purpose should be just the cardiologist. We also talked Annie to stop letting him rent in your head for free!
You DO need to update that passport.
Love ya girlfriend - Jenny

best male friend said...

Oh Annie. I sigh again. I've been sighing all day. What is it, a contest in your life of what guy can fuck you up in the head the most severely? Chris was the reigning king. I met the guy. Couldn't stand the sight of him. Met Guy Friend. Wasn't nuts about him either.

Again, I'm not perfect, never claimed to be. I've disappointed you. I've hurt you and Luke. I know that. I've also made amends to you more than once, and will again if I fuck up.

The Marmalade's "Reflections of My Life?" With that upbeat line, "The world is a bad place. A bad place. A terrible place to live, but I don't want to die?"

Do yourself a favor and take that CD out of your car and hurl it out the window, preferably at high speed, aimed directly at the cardiologist's carotid vein.

@Jenny: Even if he is just her "heart doctor," in charge of keeping her "heart healthy," he's doing a damn good job of "breaking it." Am I wrong or just missing something? What's more pathetic? Annie said she texted him to check out this thread about her blog, and there's a 99% chance he won't even give her THAT much. That's how much he cares about Annie.

Those of us who love Annie unconditionally and are healthy for her ALL understand that she's not "psycho." She's not "fucked up." (The list that I'm compiling in my head of those people is pretty small.)Is she mentally ill? Severely. Especially right now. She's a recovering addict too. I'm a mentally ill recovering addict, too.

Her diagnoses don't "make" Annie. Let's say hypothetically she were to undergo an ECT treatment that wiped out her personality but could ease her symptoms of bipolar, if medication didn't work. Would ANY of us who love her for who she is TODAY want her to be anything other than the beautiful, complicated, talented, creative wonder that she truly is? You know what? If she's sick, fucking deal with it and especially you, Doctor.

I tell Annie I love her every day. I don't put conditions on it, like "I love you when you're stable." or "I love you when you're manic but not when you're depressed."

"All Things Must Pass..." except you, Annie, because you're really fucking important to a lot of people who need you.

Now write me a poem, bitch!

Andrea Miklasz said...

There's no way I'd for ECT. I'd sooner go batshit loony than lose my personality and become a robot. ECT robs you of YOU. I'd never consent to it and it's only done in extreme cases these days.

Thank you all for your love, uplifting and honesty.

BMF: You'll get your poem someday.I love you!