Better?

suicide

Things have seemed to be getting better lately. So why am I still having the GOD-DAMNED panic attacks? They aren’t as bad as they were a few months ago but they are still there. Almost everyday I think about having a heart attack. I hate living like this. It’s horrible living when you think about your death every day. At least its not every minute of every day…but even being distracted by it once or twice a day is enough to drive a man to go mad.

I’m on what I think is the tail end (I hope) of a mini-panic attack right now. I think the meds that the doctors have me on are helping a lot, without the Celexa (I don’t know how to spell it) I would be totally immersed in panic right now instead of the (ugh… slight?) panic I’m feeling. I just took two aspirin like I do every time I start to panic, just in case its the real thing. Then I drank some water and took 1/2 of a Xanax. Some people have said I’m addicted to Xanax but this is the first one I’ve taken in a week.

Okay…I just had to step away for a minute. Panic escalated. Still very nervous. Leg is shaking up and down as if I were about to make a speech or something. Not feeling great. Don’t know if its therapeutic to write about it or not but it is somewhat distracting. I took the other half of my Xanax. I’m really trying to limit my use since its seems that I’m giving the impression that I’m an addict. So this is the first “real” panic attack I’ve had in a week and the first Xanax I’ve taken. I’ve dealt with my other minor attacks for the last few weeks without taking a pill because just like the alcohol I have to prove I’m not an alcoholic by quitting drinking till a certain point.

I’m in the awful “Catch-22” about alcohol and pills. My doctors prescribe me pills to help me deal with the anxiety and panic because I’ve been diagnosed with General Anxiety and Panic Disorder. Now this is something I’ve been dealing with since the 1980’s however during the 1990’s at some point they subsided and I may have suffered one attack a year, if that many. But in the last few months they have returned full force. (See: This is what a Panic Attack feels like…) Obviously I don’t like panic attacks. They are horrible and the doctors have given me a drug called Xanax (actually the generic) to deal with it however if I take them I’m labeled an addict. So do I suffer the panic, do I run to the ER and exclaim I’m having a heart attack so I can become reassured that there are people to treat me. Sit for hours and hours on end while they do blood work and x-rays only to tell me I’m fine and give me a Xanax? So if I take a Xanax I’m an addict. If I don’t take a Xanax my panic escalates and I go to the ER where they give me a Xanax but then I’m not an addict. Okay so my Xanax seems to have kicked in and now I’m much better.

Several hours later, panic averted. So my reason for today’s post is because for the last several months I’ve been pretty down but things seem to be getting better for me emotionally as of the last month or so. Also in regards to my domestic situation, things have improved with my husband too. Part of his improving has to do with his reading this blog, after he discovered it he shared with me how said I made him with some of the things I said. I didn’t mean to make him sad, I was just writing my feelings. I didn’t mean to share my feeling with people I know, I wanted to remain anonymous (See: Sometimes I am so Stupid) but screwed that up. After that if no one else in the world was reading my blog I can assure you that he was reading it every day. But the good news is after he got over his disappointment he started doing something about it. He started becoming more active, he working on his health, he started caring again. All things he had given up on, he was truly just living to die, like my mother, like my father. He was in a downward spiral but seeing himself through my eyes, through my writing, inspired him to get active again. He forced himself to not only attend but follow through with Cardiac Rehabilitation. He has (for the most part) been eating healthy. He has been doing things again, small things, but he’s doing things. He’s helping out around the house as much as he’s able. I like, no LOVE, this change in him. In this respect I’m no longer sorry that he read my blog, he realized and he knows what I was writing was true.

Having a more active and healthy husband has drastically improved things around the house. We lost one over our beloved animals during the period of my extreme depression (See: Good-bye to my beloved Pet) and I was talking nearly daily about either waiting to die or just being done with this life (See: How Can I Go On? or I Don’t Like Myself) but now things seem better. It might be because of the drugs I’m taking or it might be that there is some life in my house again or it might a combination of both things. Things may get worse again because I have another dog that is probably within the last 6 months of her life. She is only a year younger that the dog that just passed away. My whole family is leaving.

So things have seemed better lately. They are getting better at work and just seem to be improving all around (except for our renter who is paying worse which means we are heading towards for “financial problems” now but as those in AA say: “One day at a time”. (See: House for Rent)). Our camping season is about to start and I’m looking forward to returning to The Woods Campground for another year and at the same time I’m worried that my husband will have another relapse and end up in the hospital again while we are there, I think it will always be on my mind because I predicted it last year and it happened, his defibrillator went off a number of times and he ended up being hospitalized 2.5 hours from our home.

Anyway the reason for this post is things seem to be getting better. I’m in a better mood and my husband seems to have made a turn around. I don’t wake up in the morning anymore wishing I had the balls to jump from the Francis Scott Key Bridge into the Chesapeake Bay. I don’t think about hanging myself from a tree in my backyard. I don’t think about just getting in the car and driving into a wall at 100 miles per hour. So I think I’m getting better.

 

 

 

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Coming Back to WordPress

freedom-of-speech1

Okay so I was sharing too much stuff, mostly on Facebook (Ugh… why oh why do I keep returning to Facebook? (See: FACEBOOK! Argggghhhh!!!! or You are SOOOO Annoying!!or even Facebook Hypocrisy). When I started this blog (how many times have I started posts with that line?) I was thinking about the future, a time when I’m gone, I was thinking about regrets and mistakes in life. I also wanted to think about accomplishments in life. I have always either kept or wanted to keep a diary. As a kid I kept a diary (See: Can you Hear me Now?) actually several diaries over the my childhood. Some I would get bored with (How many times can you write “Nothing much happened today.”?) and others my mother would throw away. As I got a little older and word processors and Computers eventually became a staple in every household I started keeping my thoughts (diaries and journals) electronically. But those devices either went out of date or crashed, file extensions became useless (Remember Lotus? I didn’t think so…) so those were lost as well. Later (in my 30’s) I kept a really nifty printed journal that I typed in Word and put each page in a binder. But then I discovered my husband as well as a temporary roommate were reading it when I wasn’t around. (Is nothing sacred?). So I stopped maintaining the “printed” version. I do still have it, but when I read back the pages were about as clever as my “Nothing much happened today” writing of my childhood memories. Just a bunch of garbage.

Then I started posting my thoughts in blog form (perhaps still a bunch of garbage, but at least most my posts have “some” meat to them and aren’t just single lined entries indicating the monotony of my life) which all lead to my starting “Turning Things Around” back in 2013 sometime. Actually let me insert in here that before “Turning Things Around” that at first my use of Facebook became my diary. I thought “Wow what a wonderful means of keeping and sharing my thoughts.” but my (ahem) “friends” ended up making life miserable for me through that medium so I started this blog. My mistake with the blog was that I didn’t stay anonymous, I shared it with my friends and family and didn’t hide my thoughts and feeling. I figured that unlike Facebook where every though is thrown into our Friends’ faces they would have to go specifically to this site to read my posts and who would be that interested? Well unfortunately there were several that were interested and as I reread some of posts I would think “Why did I say that?”. I mean it was just stuff (Like JUST BURN THE DAMN COUCH!) that I didn’t need to share. I mean sometime my anger posts would just make things worse, I would post something to get it off my chest and it would just ruffle feathers. (I hope what I’m saying here makes sense because right now I’m writing without thinking and without any direction).

My interest in blogging comes and goes in spurts. Right now I have probably a middle of the road interest, a few months back I was totally into it, recording my thoughts using voice recognition on my phone into Google Docs and then converting it daily. Since then I’ve gotten a little bored. I think the boredom comes with my Debbie Downer attitude of most my posts, this helps me understand sometimes why people don’t like to be around me, if I can get myself imagine how I must make others feel. I look back on the posts after the New Year and shortly before and everything is “Woe is me” and “My life is horrible”. I’m feeling better these days and it could be a combination of things. I’ve taking the Celexa medication with is supposed to balance the chemicals in my head to help me deal with some of the anxiety but I think I might need to readdress this with the doctor because I’m feeling better but I’m still having numerous mild panic attacks. They aren’t as bad as they were shortly after I stopped drinking as per my New Years Resolution and I’m not sure if that’s because I anticipated this horrendous fight with the “alcoholic” side of me versus the “sober” side of me. I know that I was stressing in anticipation of going 5 months without a drink.

Okay so I’m posting on WordPress and not hiding who I am then I started becoming concerned. It seems like the U.S.A. is tightening its laws. People can be sued and jailed for expressing their freedom of speech these days and I think its a matter of time for the 1st Amendment will become a right only to be expressed at our dictator’s will and our first ever and current dictator is not very tolerant. Because I was seeing the writing on the walls I decided that I wanted to start a more anonymous blog. There were several notions behind the decision to be less obvious about my identity number one being I was expressing a lot of views on Facebook, mostly pro-Clinton and even though a majority of my friends were also Clinton supporters I think I may have over done it. I believe a lot of people stopped following me so they could avoid my posts. And two because I believe that the as I previously noted American’s are losing our ability to speak freely. My goodness we have a President and First-Lady (Dictator and (BLEEP)) (I had to be bleeped because these people are sue happy.) who will sue the people they represent because they don’t like what’s being said about them or they might lose business using their Government titles to produce clothing and jewelry lines, and cosmetics and perfumes. Take the money off of someone with a limited income who simply repeated that he heard the First Lady was a (BLEEP) and that the President is a (BLEEP) and that they (BLEEP) when they (BLEEP) with Ivanka who will (BLEEP) her father. Sue their poor constituents to pad their pockets so when they leave the White House they will be that much richer and untouchable.

You know there was a time in this country you could be critical of your leaders without having to worry that someone that claims to be a billionaire would sue someone that’s close to the poverty level just because they are so insecure and thin skinned they can’t deal with someone saying anything negative about them. Think about this, foreigners have more freedom to talk about Dictator and his (BLEEP) that we do here in America, the land of the free. But I’m terribly off subject here (I just hate our new Dictator…)

So I was being less transparent and stopped using names in my postings but there were still too many people who knew me so I decided to start a new blog and I called it Saudade. I worked very hard to set it up and it was hosted on WIX.com. The site was actually beautiful. But the work involved compared to the ease of posting on WordPress started getting to me so I decided that I would rather return to “Turning Things Around”. I would edit all my posts and remove as many identifying factors as possible. I will (but haven’t yet) transfer all my Saudade posts to this blog and go back to using WordPress.

As far as the “few” people I know that might still somehow be linked to this site well I guess you will still know how I am, but I’m rather stay safely in the background. Especially in this day and age when we are one madman and one executive order away from Concentration Camps. I don’t believe in god but I would like to say facetiously “God bless what America used to be before Trump began his rule. America used to be great but now its scary”

Well back to editing my old posts (shhhhhhh don’t tell anyone who I am).

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100 Days!

Countdown

So today marks 100 days without a drink. I have 26 more to go and then I will be allowed to drink again. It was my annual New Year resolution to quit drinking until an event. This year the event is camping May. Last year the event was a birthday party in April, the two years prior not so good, only until February for both years because we went on R.S.V.P. cruises and there was no way I was going to do that and stay sober.

100 days – 126 days will be my record since I’ve become a regular drinker. Of course in my 20’s and 30’s I went months and months without drinking and it was no big deal but over the years the gaps in between have become smaller and smaller. I will say there were a couple of years at one point where I spent nearly every weekend (and quite a few work nights) drunk. I stopped doing the work nights years ago because I’m just too old for those shenanigans, but the weekend drinking has pretty much been ongoing except for my annual resolution.

People used to kid with me about my event rule laughingly telling me “The mail just arrived! That’s an event!” or some other snide little comment meant in fun. (At least I hope it was meant in fun) but the fact of the matter is I do drink too much and this resolution each year is to prove to myself that I can still quit. The question is can I really quit?

I mean look at me now. I’m not really counting down the days but I know that my drinking days will begin again soon. One of my friends says even though I’m not counting the days (the 100 days was just a coincidence, I used excel to subtract the days because I planned to write about this regardless how many days it was, 100 was not a goal or a trigger for me to do this, just pretty cool that I selected the 100th day of all days) I’m still counting the days because I’m looking forward to it so technically that makes me an alcoholic.

I don’t know what an alcoholic is anymore. I like to drink. I am looking forward to drinking again but I will say this I’m also enjoying this sobriety. Its a side of me that I’m not too familiar with seeing. I an argue that I’m more productive and in some ways I am (I’m more committed to my exercising for one) but then in other way (yard work, housekeeping, etc.) I’m pretty much still the same guy. Another thing I like about not drinking is getting up very early, and when I say very early I mean it, like 1:30 AM and I generally go to work so I’m usually at my desk by about 3:00 AM and I work until 3:00 PM. (12 hours days).

There are so many rules involved with defining us as drunks. Here’s a small list I can answer from an Internet site about what defines one as an alcoholic:

  1. Feel guilty or ashamed about your drinking? My answer is NO
  2. Lie to others or hide your drinking habits? My answer is NO
  3. Have friends or family members who are worried about your drinking? This one is tricky. No one I am close to but an old high school friend believes I am an alcoholic and addicted to Xanax.
  4. Need to drink in order to relax or feel better? If you would have asked me this 4 months ago I would have said yes, who doesn’t feel better after a drink? But no, my answer is NO.
  5. “Black Out” or forget what you did while you were drinking? Okay I did have a few black outs about 30 years ago in my 20’s when I got really drunk with friends, but never on my own.
  6. Regularly drink more that you intended to? TRICK QUESTION! When I drink (which is not regularly unless you count the weekends) I tend to drink too much so the answer to this is YES and NO.

Okay because I answered a half YES to at least one of these questions I’m an alcoholic. But I deny that based solely on answering these 6 questions that I can be defined as an alcoholic. Whoops! I “denied” it. When you “deny” that means the opposite, it means you ARE or FOR whatever you deny, at least in terms of Alcoholism. I can DENY I am a rapist, if we used the psychology that AA uses I am a rapist because I deny it.

I looked at another quiz online and almost all the questions were the same as above with a few additional questions:

  1. Being unable to stop once you start? Now this depends. If I am drinking and I know that I have to go somewhere, especially if I am driving then I stop drinking. So technically YES I can stop once I start, but if I know I’m going to be home and stay home I will get drunk. (I admit I’m a binge drinker which is a form of alcoholism. Or is it?) We can blame our laws and society for a lot of drinkers that stay home. Everyone is afraid to go out because they will be stopped, when they go out most people will control or limit their drinking (most, not all) but if you are home there is nothing to hold you back. Who cares? Drink away.
  2. Neglecting your responsibilities? Oh how tricky this one is. I always slack off on working out so while I’d like to say NO to this I would have to answer YES, when I drink I’d rather play World of Warcraft or watch a movie.
  3. Drinking in dangerous situations? (Like before work or when having to drive): My answer is NO.
  4. Trying to quit but being unable to? Okay again another trick question. I have quit for 4 months with a planned restart day which hasn’t yet arrived. If I drink before that planned day then that means I was unable to make it and I am an alcoholic. Technically I haven’t quit forever but I never planned to (not yet). I will admit that this year I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to quit which is alarming in itself but I did. I have quit for 100 days with no program, with no help, and I still have 26 days to go.

Technically I am an alcoholic. I admit openly I have a drinking problem. On those Friday and Saturday nights (or other nights when I don’t have to work) I will definitely drink and I will definitely get drunk. That makes me a binge drinker.

Its like the old Salem Witch Trials. If I admit I’m a witch (an alcoholic) I will be burned at the stake. If I deny I’m a witch (an alcoholic) I will be tortured and accused until I admit it and then burned at the stake.

I don’t miss work (not yet). I maintain my house (still). I am responsible (for the most part). I admit I binge drink (but don’t when I have things that interfere). I don’t know if its a problem or not.

Okay now that all my pro-drinking rhetoric has been spewed let me say that for the last 100 days I have felt wonderful, and yes if you look back on this blog for the first week or two (another sign of alcoholism) I was afraid of facing the days ahead without drinking. I was worried because of the anxiety attacks I have, I would have not proper treatment other than the Xanax (which I only take if I’m having an anxiety attack). I don’t like waking up the next morning and thinking about the hair of the dog. I don’t like getting drunk just because its the weekend and I decided to start drinking. I don’t like a lot of things about drinking but on the flip side there are a lot of things I don’t like about not-drinking. I definitely don’t like branding myself an alcoholic. I don’t like that once you determine you are an alcoholic you are an alcoholic forever and ever and ever.

You know if you look back on all those questions I answered above I can answer at least one yes for the same question on another of other topics as well. Watching movies, playing with my dogs, working at my job, gambling at the casino, eating, sleeping, lying to people, reading, hanging out with friends, going to parties, going to bingo, mowing my lawn, laying by the pool, doing my laundry, and on and on and on. Does this mean that I have a problem with any of the above. Okay I’m rationalizing which means I’m denying which means I’m an alcoholic. I can’t win. There’s nothing I can say or do other than quit drinking forever to prove I’m not an alcoholic. But I like drinking (at least now, I even said this before I quit) I also like watching movies, reading, and laying by the pool and since I answered yes to at least one of those questions for each of these must I quit these other things I like to prove that they aren’t interfering with my life and my happiness?

I’m in a lose/lose situation here when I consider my drinking. I’ve seen others do and go far worse in terms of their drinking and I don’t label them (sure they probably drink too much but I don’t think I’m in the position to claim they are drunks or have a problem). Psychiatrists and counselors and judges and lawyers, etc., all have an interest in labeling us drunks. The government has an interest in labeling us drunks. Look at all the money they earn from stopping a guy that has had one too many. They lower and lower and lower the amount of alcohol in our bodies to make us legally drunk after one drink and once legally drunk they brand us an alcoholic. I mean their billboards alone tell us their main interest is in the money…. like the one that reads “This guy just “blew” $10,000″ and pictures a guy blowing into a breathalyzer. What about other alcoholics? Surely they have nothing to gain by labeling everyone they meet an alcoholic because they can answer yes during their lifetime to at least one of the questions above. Ever heard the saying “Misery loves company”? Of course alcoholics want others to be branded the same. There is no way in hell they want to think they are the only ones that can’t stop drinking and surely they are not the only ones otherwise the AA cult wouldn’t exist.

I’m looking at all this through sober eyes now knowing that I’m going to start drinking in less than a month from today. Maybe a year from now my fear that I had before this period of sobriety will be doubled, maybe I will be too week to quit again for month and months on end. Maybe I will find myself eating my words and think “What was I thinking, of course I’m an alcoholic. I must quit and never, ever, ever, drink again.” Perhaps that is my destiny. And sadly I’d like to satisfy all those that want to brand me as such just like I’d like to quit forever, but then again I don’t want to quit forever. I like the feeling of being up at 2:30 AM having my coffee, playing World of Warcraft and ready to start the day but I also enjoy staying up until 2:30 AM having several drinks chatting to people on Second Life while drunk, ready to go to bed and sleep late the next morning.

Either way I’m giving up something I enjoy. Either way I have a problem. Lets just hope that when the time finally comes that if I can’t control the drinking (by quitting when I want to quit) that I am strong enough to stop and admit that I have a problem. For now I’m happy to admit that I am a binge drinker and that binge drinking is a form of alcoholism but for the last 100 days I’ve been a “binge non-drinker”. I guess we will just have to see how this all plays out.

 

 

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America! Putin’s Playground…

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America! Putin’s Playground…: In my opinion our President has already committed treason when he begged the Russians to provide his with evidence to destroy Hillary Clinton’s campaign. The man asked a foreign government to interfere with our elections!

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I Am Depressed

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I Am Depressed:  I admit it, I am depressed and with all my other problems, I am sad, perpetually sad…

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Lay Me Down to Rest

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Lay Me Down to Rest:  I have said before and I will say I’m not a good person. My husband loves me, this much I know, but he has become accustomed to me, the type of passionate love that two people have for each other has long faded.

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Why are you Patronizing Me?

PatronizingWhy are you Patronizing Me?: Earlier I checked my phone and I had received a text from him that he must have sent last night while I was sleeping asking me if this is the way I was going to treat him in 2017. What the fuck does that mean?

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