20 Facts

Inspired by Nick Flynn’s “Thirteen Random Facts”

  1. In most of my college courses, my grades have been lowered due to unexplained absences.
  2. Suicide was the known cause of death for 42,773 people in 2014 for the United States alone.
  3. The definition of suicidal ideation is “Thinking about, considering, or planning suicide”.
  4. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.
  5. There are two main forms of Bipolar Disorder: Bipolar I and Bipolar II.
  6. Cymbalta is a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor. It is an antidepressant. They openly admit they do not know how it works.
  7. Cymbalta’s common side effects are as follows: constipation, diarrhea, dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, hypersomnia, insomnia, nausea, sedation, weakness, headache, xerostomia, agitation, erectile dysfunction, nervousness, psychomotor agitation, tension, vomiting, abdominal pain, anorexia, decreased appetite, decreased libido, loss of libido, hyperhidrosis, and restlessness.
  8. An overdose of the drug Sertraline can include bradycardia, bundle branch block, coma, convulsions,delirium, hallucinations, hypertension, hypotension, manic reaction, pancreatitis, serotonin syndrome, stupor, and syncope.
  9. Bipolar I is characterized by one or more manic episodes, or mixed episodes. Typically, a person will experience periods of depression as well. Bipolar I disorder is marked by extreme manic episodes that often involve compulsive sexual behaviors, extreme drug and alcohol use, and irresponsible spending behaviors.
  10. My family has a strong history of depression.
  11. Sertraline, or Zoloft, is used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder.
  12. I was diagnosed with severe depression when I was 15.
  13. Sertraline’s common side effects are as follows: rigid muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, feeling like you might pass out, agitation, hallucinations, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, feeling unsteady, loss of coordination, headache, trouble concentrating, memory problems, weakness and fatigue, dry mouth, decreased appetite, loss of libido, difficulty orgasming, insomnia, upset stomach, constipation, and weight gain.
  14. Bipolar II is characterized by one or more major depressive episodes and at least one episode of hypomania, with possible periods of level mood between episodes. The highs in Bipolar II, are not as extreme as those in Bipolar I, and therefore Bipolar II disorder is often misdiagnosed as major depression when hypomanic episodes go unrecognized or unreported.
  15. Lexapro is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor used to treat depression.
  16. Lexapro’s listed side effects are as follows: diarrhea, drowsiness, headache, insomnia, nausea, delayed ejaculation, anorgasmia, constipation, dizziness, dyspepsia, fatigue, decreased libido, diaphoresis, and xerostomia.
  17. For people with Bipolar II, the use of antidepressants without a mood stabilizer is commonly believed to increase suicide risk.
  18. Sometimes, I get a burst of energy and will clean, reorganize, and paint rooms in my home, all in one night, because I don’t feel like sleeping. Sometimes, I don’t need to sleep much for a couple days.
  19. I have overdosed three times at 19, 20, and 22. I am 27.
  20. Lithium Carbonate is a mood stabilizer used to treat bipolar disorder. It works to stabilize the mood and reduce extremes in behavior by restoring the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain.
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It Wasn’t Her

We’d eaten enough candy to make a dentist cry in despair. Amongst our feet lay the crumpled and sticky remnants of candy long since devoured, stale kernels of over-buttered popcorn, and half empty soda cans. I’m sure it reeked, but we had long since gone numb to the smell, somewhere past 1 A.M, possibly before 3. It was spring break and, for me, this was as good as it got. I’d gotten all A’s in my classes, and that combined with my not viciously attacking the phlebotomist who came to take my blood during my appointment that morning had convinced my parents to provide us with a new video game, to go with our candy coma. I had a bit of a phobia, you see. Anything sharp and aimed at me kicked off a fit, of which I never remembered a thing. Nobody knew why. All I knew was the object, aimed and ready to hurt me. But the trials of that morning no longer mattered, as we geared up for another round of Smash Brothers, chased with Sprite and pixie sticks. What mattered was that her Kirby was kicking my ass. Round over and I had lost. I tore open another pixie stick to drown my sorrows, reached over to hand her one as well.

But she didn’t move.

And she didn’t speak.

Without acknowledgment, she stood up and went to the computer, sat down, got online. I knew better, but a caffeine high and little sleep creates a vortex of poor judgement, and I couldn’t stop myself from questioning her. Bugging her. But she didn’t move, and she didn’t speak, so I gave up and turned towards the couch for a solo game. I didn’t hear the chair slide back. I didn’t see her get up. I just felt a dull and sudden pain in my side that sent me toppling forward. I closed my eyes.  My head hit the coffee table, an ancient thing of gouged wood and glass.  I struggled to plant my hands to the floor, push myself up, but the room kept turning and I had to hold on to keep from falling away. I felt something sticky on my face. Eventually she spoke, and it was her again. I could hear her if I focused hard enough. She gasped and asked what happened.

And the room kept turning

She started crying and begged me to say something.

And the room kept turning.

And then, finally, she went for help.

Eventually, the room stopped turning, but I held on anyways.

Life Changes

I haven’t posted in a very long time. I guess you could say life has a way of diverting your attention from anything that isn’t necessary, needed, or integral to your own survival. A lot of things have changed this past year. Some good, some bad. None of it really matters because today I have one thing on my mind. One thing always on my mind, running in the background.

My dad has cancer. 

To be specific, my dad has metastatic prostate cancer. For those blessed with only a minimal knowledge of cancer and the terms that go along with it, metastatic means that it’s aggressive. 

That it’s already spread.

It’s in his lymph nodes.

Metastatic means his odds of it never coming back are nonexistent.

That the six fucking months it took his doctors to stop rescheduling his fucking appointments, and actually do the tests and schedule surgery, very well may have made the difference in him surviving this or not.

It means that from now until whenever his eternity ends, will be measured in three month increments. Because that’s how long he goes between blood work to tell if the cancer is resurfacing. 

I’m scared. I love my father. I’m not ready for him to go.

So far we are six months out from surgery. Two, three month increments, which have declared him to be “safe” for now. 

But we all know. And it’s always there, in the background. 

How long before cancer takes my dad away?

How many three month increments do we get? 

How Will it End

How did it start?

Someone died.

or someone got sick.

or you had a nightmare.

or you miss someone.

Or…it just does.

How it started doesn’t matter. Once the ball is rolling, you can’t snatch it back. All you can do is move through and wait for it to end, however it ends.

But it’s been such a long day. There’s a deep ache in your jaw that you can’t work out. You’ve kneaded it, stretched and bit back down. It persist, even spreads into your neck.Your head hurts. People keep talking to you and this urge to scream bubbles up from that aching. You bite that back down. You try to focus. You try to hear the words people are saying to you.  You’re pretty sure you sound robotic. You try to put more emotion behind your words. It doesn’t work, they ask what’s wrong. You want to cry. You bite that back down too. The ache gets worse.

Everything is too bright and too fuzzy. There’s cotton in your head, Your skin’s to tight.  When your feet touch the ground it’s like Novocaine in your skin. Nothing’s concrete. You know you’re moving. You know you’re getting into your car.

The first few minutes are fine. You turn on some music. You gravitate toward sad songs, instruments that make your chest tighten. You’re still fine.

But then you’re alone. There’s no one around with expectations for you. No one to judge the behavior. And the ache is so strong.

You think about calling someone. Begging them to meet you somewhere, or come over. To talk. You go through the list and realize there’s no one to call. And then you start imagining.

You imagine closing your eyes. You imagine pressing the peddle down. You imagine  taking off your seat belt. It’s ok, You’re just thinking about it. Thinking is ok. It’s the doing that’s the problem. You imagine how it would feel when the tires start to tug the car, you wonder if it’ll flip. Or if it’ll just slam into something so hard that the sudden lack of movement stops your heart. You wonder if you’ll go through the windshield and if it’ll hurt, or if it’ll happen so fast you’ll just be gone. It’s just a daydream. One that you have almost every day.

Except you’re crying so hard that you didn’t notice your eyes are closed. And when you open them, the speedometer says you’re going 90mph.

You make yourself focus, You stare so hard at the road that you actually feel pressure building in your head. you make fists around the steering wheel. You say, “just get home. Just get home. Just get home.”

Sometimes you have to pull over because you can’t breathe.

Sometimes you get home. You swerved a few times and it’s probably lucky you didn’t get pulled over, but you’re home. And you go inside. And you sit at the table. And you cry.

Hard and loud. And the imagining starts again. It’s not always the same, but it’s unstoppable. You hold still. You hold onto the table. And you think about getting out the letters you’ve written. You know you don’t want them to wonder. To leave them wondering seems cruel. You know leaving them at all should seem cruel, but mostly you just think about how they won’t have to handle you anymore. You think about where you’ll sit the letters. I always picture them in a straight line, in envelopes, on the dining room table. I always picture it happening in the living room. I plan. I have a list of emails, websites, and all their passwords. Notes about hidden money, pictures i loved, things I think are important and who  I want to have them .

I put the dogs up. I give them hugs. I place food and water in my bedroom and put the cats there. I don’t want them stopping me. They have before. So I put them up. I love them.

And then I get the gun and I practice holding it, but I’ve always hated guns. The heaviness. They feel so ugly and brutal. And when I put it to my head it makes my stomach roll. So, usually, I put it back and grab bottles of pills. I play music while I get them ready. Small piles of different pills, lined up. I get some wine, and I start swallowing. I turn off my phone. I lay down. And I listen to my music, try to focus on it instead of the nausea. Instead of the aches and pains.

Overdosing isn’t painless. You know that because you’ve done it before. But before, you didn’t take enough. You had to long to change your mind.

So I make sure to take all of them. From every bottle.

I imagine how long it will take. I imagine trying not to throw up, trying to keep them inside long enough for them to work.

Dying is something I want to imagine. What I don’t want to imagine, is what comes next. Next I have to imagine John coming home and finding me. I have to imagine how quickly he would feel that something was wrong. I picture him panicked because I haven’t answered his texts or calls. I picture him hearing the loud music and thinking, hoping, I’m just in there writing, or drawing my comics. Then I picture him seeing me.

Imagining this stops me. It makes me feel selfish. Imagining him calling my parents. Imagining him trying to get me to wake up. Those things let me get up from the table. Those things let me move around the house, do what I need to do, then go to bed. Without getting out the letters.

Or touching the gun.

Or looking at the bottles.

Even if I’m just going to imagine it all again tomorrow.

I hope it never stops working.

And such a good start too…

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/2b6/39649522/files/2014/12/img_0449.jpgOk….I’m going to preface this by stating that I’m a monogamous married woman who can TOTALLY count how many people I’ve slept with on one hand, so i don’t think I’m biased here….but about the time I got to the  5th line of this here facebook banner I started to get pissed. By the time I got to the 7th line, I decided I was justified.

It makes me sad that a banner meant to tell people to stop taking crap from other people decided to start handing out its own personalized version of  crap right there in the middle. I haven’t even bothered to look up whether or not this quote is actually a quote by this Tony Gaskins ( because many a time, facebook definitely lies about that one) because fuck you, judgmental person I’ve never met, whether you be the quoted or the quote-er…quotee…quotifier… (is that a fucking word? seriously, someone let me know).  How can you tell someone not to take shit from their significant other, and expect them to take shit from some stranger judging their personal sexual decisions?

Being in a sexually open relationship isn’t “normal”?

Having a threesome isn’t “normal?

Dude what era are you living in? Wait a minute, maybe I should look up this quote…gimme a sec. Oh, yep, dude’s got a twitter. Just making sure you weren’t some puritan motherfucker from back when being a human being in control of your own sexuality, and the ways in which you express that sexuality, was considered devil worship. Step into the land of the now, where what people do in their own bedrooms ain’t you’re fucking concern, because HOPEFULLY we’ve reached the level of knowledge where we don’t assume consenting adults fondling each others fun bits equals summoning cthulhu.

The land where polyamory and polyamorous are things the vast majority of people under 50 can loosely define without consulting a dictionary.

The land where, if enjoying casual sex is your bag, you can finally do it with a reasonable level of safety from diseases and pregnancy.

Hear me now, dude who will probably never see this blog, When i get ready to play with my husband, what you think is normal is not something i consider. It isn’t something i worry about. You aren’t someone I consult.

Do you know what I do consider? What I’m comfortable with. That’s right, not your hetero-normative (oh shit, words just got big) version of what sex should be, but what I am COMFORTABLE with sex being.

Do you know who i do consult? My partner.

Why? because me and my partner are the ONLY things I worry about in our sexual relationship. What he’s ok with. What I’m ok with. That’s it. Done.

And if one day we both decide to step outside of our current sexual boundaries? That’s not me settling, asshole.

That’s me changing my mind. Something I’m allowed to do, in case you were wondering.

And don’t EVEN get me started in a discussion on whether or not you or any person have the right to moderate and judge how often I smile versus cry.

True Love

I described a human being today as “that guy. That guy that talked us and we talked back and there was talking.”

And he knew who I was talking about.

I Prefer the Term Pet Enthusiast.

I haven’t written in awhile. My job doesn’t really leave me as much down time as the old one, plus I’ve been a combination of lazy and dispassionate about a lot of things. Sorry about that. 

In fact, the only reason I’m writing today is because I have been annoyed by a very specific thing which has affected my life and i wish to rant about it. I’m here today to talk about pets.

I’m a huge animal person, and by huge I mean that I currently have residing in my home four cats and three dogs. My cats range in amount of fur from bald to I-dust-your-floor-by-walking. My dogs range in size from furry bowling ball to legitimately requires it’s own couch to sleep on. I love my pets. I never come home to an empty house. I never watch TV alone or sleep without someone to cuddle. They each have their own personalities that come with positives and negatives just like little human beings who just REALLY wished they had thumbs so they could open that damn bag of food. 

Lately, I’ve noticed something about myself and it’s quite alarming. Whenever someone asks me about pets, how many do i have, or if i need to speak about them….I start my sentence with “I have too many animals, but” 

And then I quickly spit out the number feeling this weird level of shame and embarrassment despite that fact that, wait for it…

I…..I….don’t actually think I have too many animals. If I did then I would’ve stopped getting them. I wouldn’t have gone out and adopted that third dog I mentioned, today. She’s a boxer by the way. I’ve also only told one person I’ve adopted her for the exact same reason I avoid telling people how many animals I have. 

And here’s the thing…not only do I not feel I have too many, because I am not overwhelmed by them, but my house is clean. There isn’t animal feces or urine everywhere, or anywhere really. The litter boxes even have their own specific room away from our living spaces, and the fur gets vacuumed up every other day. I mop and dust and tidy up every week. My house is probably tidier than most houses with human children living inside. The animals themselves are happy and well taken care of. They have shots and flee treatments and toys and….in all honesty, probably a wee bit too much food ( furry bowling ball).

I almost wrote this post in a way that would explain the intricate reasoning behind my pets, but then I realized that fuck all of the everyone who makes me feel like I need to do that. As a close friend said, (A close friend who, despite this phrase, thinks she has a right to comment on my animals)

I am a grown ass woman.

I pay my bills.

I clean my house.

I take care of those motherfuckingly adorable animals that seem to irk you so badly despite the fact that you don’t pay for them, feed them, clean up after them, or deal with them in your daily life. 

Do I have more animals than is the accepted norm? YUP. I’m also bipolar, bisexual, and sleep WELL past noon unless I have a legitimate unavoidable reason for getting out of bed. 

My bed, by the way, (Because I KNOW you need to know) is covered in fur because those critters sleep with me damn near every night. When I wake up thrashing and screaming, I have multiple globular little eyeballs staring at me in genuine concern. My guest room? Yeah, there’s a brown sweat stain from my sphynx Yoda. He sleeps in there because he gets cold at night, but makes too much noise to sleep in my room. Mishka sleeps on top of my corner book shelf, Ruby sleeps INSIDE that guest bed’s box springs, and Nibbler sleeps where ever the fuck he feels like it because that’s just how he rolls. 

There’s also a sweat stain on the tile, which  I clean up each week, in front of the air vent in our bathroom throughout all of the winter months and paw prints on my kitchen ceiling where he keeps chasing the squirrels he can hear running up there. 

There’s fur on my couches and chairs and in the little corners where vacuums don’t reach. 

Our hall closet is the litter box room. 

Our third bedroom is the dog room. 

And our livingroom coffee table is constantly covered in trash, ashes, and moldy dishes because….oh wait. A human does that one so that’s probably more acceptable to society. 

Here, let me get this out of the way, just cut to the chase for when you inevitably realize there’s another living creature inside my home, which you think you get to judge me on because it wasn’t birthed from my body.

“Did you really need another one?” 

Nope, I sure didn’t. In fact, I didn’t really need any of them. There was a time when I didn’t have them. I view that time as exhaustively lonely and boring as shit. You view it as the time when I wasn’t dangerously close to hoarder status. To each their own. 

“Why?”

Because…I ….felt like it? Why’d you get that new tattoo? Drink every night this week? Quit your job, cut your hair?

Why did you have a kid when you can barely afford it? Hell, why’d you have ANOTHER kid? Oh wait…I’m not allowed to ask that. It’s rude

“Don’t you think you have enough?”

Yep. I also don’t think I have too many. I’m not really getting these animals to fulfill or destroy some imaginary quota inside my head. I got Yoda because…dude..bald cat. I’ve always wanted one. Mishka and Nibbler were because I just wanted another cat, but me and my husband liked two different ones. Ruby got rescued and John refused to let me give her away. Lucy was given to me because her family couldn’t handle her. I kept her because it turns out she’s awesome. Buddy was because John wanted a manly dog and HOLY SHIT HE’S LIKE SUPER AWESOME TOO. This one was because something about her got my attention. She was sweet and scared, and a night doesn’t go by where my pets don’t make me laugh, cheer me up, or make me feel safe. And also everything about her reminds me of this silly dog named Buster that I grew up playing with. But you don’t know about that because you’re not inside my head and you haven’t lived my life. 

“You have too many animals”

You have too many opinions on things which are none of your business and which affect your life exactly not at all. 

Here’s the thing, the way i live isn’t for everyone. Pets are hard work and you will NEVER have a perfectly shiny clean home when you own them. It’s the reality of owning pets. And I know I have quite a few and if that’s not your thing  then that’s fine. It’s even fine that you have your own personal opinions on my pet count. You know what isn’t though? Pushing your opinions on me. Making me feel bad or weird because I don’t walk to the beat of your animal-hating drum (see, what I did there? I made a joke about how just cuz you don’t have 7 animals you must hate animals to kinda highlight how just because I DO have 7 animals doesn’t mean I’m a hoarder who needs your overly concerned questions which are just absolutely DRENCHED in patronizingly good intentions).

It is upsetting when I come home and one or more of them have eaten to the point of possible explosion and therefore puked on what is probably the ONE thing I really wanted to be puke free? Hell yeah. In fact, Lucy has this thing about puking directly on me. It’s disconcerting and makes me smell like uncomfortably warm dog food. She also will viciously attack your ankles if you shove, yell, or otherwise physically threaten me in any way. Nibbler the cat will attack your face. It’s kind of like the face-hugger from aliens only you’re asphyxiating on cat fur instead of  getting impregnanted through your throat hole. 

Would I have more money if I didn’t own them? Yeah…but I’d have even more money if I didn’t buy so many cute t-shirts, purchase alcohol, go out to eat, or buy one-too-many $1.99 songs on itunes. 

And my house would be cleaner…only not really because I’m married to a 20-something dude who just RADIATES dirty dishes. I swear, it’s like they leak out of his pores while he walks through the house. 

Lots of things would be different if I didn’t have them. But to ME, most of those differences would totally suck. So stop being assholes. I’d really like to feel less rage towards you since I kinda like you as a friend/family member and all that mushy stuff. 

Sincerely, your becoming less friendly, pet enthusiast friend. 

 

 

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