Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Happy Anniversary, Demons

Some of you may know, others may not... For the last several years I've been waging war on some pretty dark demons. Some days I've been able to pass as mostly normal, but a lot of days I haven't even come close. Today marks the one year anniversary of having those demons under fairly good control. Now, having said that, I don't for one second think they are vanquished or that they have magically disappeared. Nor do I think that I am now miraculously normal. Oh, no. I'm still as whacked as ever; it's just kept under strict control with a chemical cocktail. I know that I have to maintain vigilance or I could be lulled into complacency. I have to keep my guard up, which, by the way is exhausting, or I could end up on a dead end road (again). I have to, even though I want to shrink away from those evil bastards, maintain a constant line of sight at all times so that I know where they're at.

Demons, dragons, monsters; all used to describe the horrors that go on in the minds of us diagnosed with a mental illness. I know I've felt trapped inside my own head on plenty of occasions. I can totally relate to that scene in Breaking Dawn Part I where Bella is turning and she's perfectly still and calm on the outside but screaming and thrashing on the inside. I've felt like that. Still do, sometimes. Like I said, there is no cure. There is treatment, damn good treatment, but this is something I have to deal with for the rest of my life.

To add insult to injured minds, society generally looks down on and fears those of us diagnosed as crazy. Actually, there is no psychiatric diagnosis of "crazy" and I should know. After all, I'll have a bona fide Psych degree by the spring. There are, however, about eleventy billion other diagnoses for all sorts of conditions and disorders. I am afraid of some of them, have a few of them, and am no longer embarrassed by any of them. A diagnosis does not make or define a person. There is a stigma associated with mental illness that isn't associated with any other condition and it's just plain not fair. It's not likely to change just because I hopped on my soapbox, but if one person who reads this considers, just for a second, that people with a diagnosis of something mentally related may not be of the devil after all, well, then, it's all good. I am who I am and will still be me regardless of what anyone else believes.

I have a batshit crazy family. My dad's side especially. Oh, there are no diagnosed mental illnesses, but there are no conversations about anything. At all. Ever. If anything makes anyone uncomfortable, let's just ignore it and it will go away. That's why it took until I was in my 20's before I was actually institutionalized (by my husband) and diagnosed Bipolar (now called Unipolar because I don't have the mania part, only the massive depression).

 I am, we'll say, the black sheep for that side of the family. I have an okay relationship with my dad. He's a hard guy to get close to, but that's what he knows and how he grew up. I have a stinted and rocky relationship with my 2 aunts and my grandmother from some other history stuff. These days, I really only talk to my dad. The last time all of that side of the family were together (for my twins' graduations) I was completely ignored, not even acknowledged, by everyone except for my dad and my cousin. The rest of them wouldn't even make eye contact with me. It makes me sad that it's come to that. And tired. It makes me really, really tired.

My mom's side is better, mostly. I have a good relationship with my aunt and grandmother and have gotten really close with my mom in the last few years. It seems as if one side of the family relationship's are deteriorating and the other side's getting stronger. I think about trying to find a balance but I can't take on other people's problems. I have enough of my own. I don't have the energy or the inclination to deal with your shit. If it's not worth it for someone to reach out to me when I've tried, am still trying, to make my life better, then it's their loss. I am starting to understand what I'm worth, and what's not worth it.

I never could have made it this far without the support of many people in my life but especially my husband and my mom. Without either of them, I really don't know where I would be today (certainly not here coherent enough to write about being demon-controlled for a year). With so much uncertainty in the world in general, and in the world of the mentally ill especially, you can't know how much it means to have that unconditional love and unrelenting stability. No matter how hard I tried to push away, they both just pulled me harder.

So, there's a lot of rant and rave in there, but I'm proud of myself. I've been on a straight path and doing better than I have in a lot of years for a whole 365 days now. It's a big accomplishment, and one I'm not looking to screw up. If anything, it just motivates me more to get to the next milestone.

Still counting.....

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Ok. This Is The Very Last Post About The Wax Museum. But It's The Best.

Below are the best pictures from our time at the wax museum. No one but my BFF and I can understand the significance of this set of photos, but I hope you enjoy them anyway.

Grease has always been one of our favorite movies. We were super excited when it re-released back into the theater for the 20th or 25th anniversary. Of course we went to see it. And got a new education about it. In the "Greased Lightening" song, we heard lyrics we'd never understood before. Every time we'd hear something we didn't know before we would gasp and look at each other. Regardless, it was, and still is, one of my fave flicks.

So here we are. Super cool in out Pink Ladies jackets driving Greased Lightening while Danny Zuko sings beside us. You can't really tell, but I'm doin' the famous snarl.

 I totally think Danny would've been into her. She kinda favors Sandy. Except for the tattoo.

This is probably my most favorite picture of the day. It's certainly one of my most favorite of me in the last couple of years. I really NEED one of those Pink Ladies jackets. I wonder if Amazon sells them?

Alrighty. Here are the last four photos from our excursion to Madame Toussaud's Wax Museum on Hollywood Blvd. These four photos sum it all up perfectly. For both of us. From since we were mild hellions in our teens. But I'll let you decide for yourself.....

                                                             She didn't do it.... but I did.

Post IV. Or V. Or LMCXIIV. (I don't know what number that really is.)

                                  She's rubbing his sweaty muscles, I'm knocking him out.                                                                                   This is a classic example of our personalities.

                                 I had the Lorde song "Royals" running through my head. I                                                                      think the Queen might be uptight, but everyone else looks like                                                            they could hang out with their feet propped up on the Louis IV table.

                       Ummm... I don't know what to say here. Maybe "She's overacting like he does"?

                                     ACTION! Apparently it looks like I would be a bitchy                                                                              and demanding director. Let's ask Spielberg, shall we?

                                    Robin introducing us at The Comedy Store. Or so I                                                                                    like to think. Up close, you could see his fingerprints.

                                                               No words needed.

                 I think I was channeling my inner Elton John. Or that dude that did "Great Balls of Fire".

                                      She did this picture specifically to piss off her daughter.                                                                               Holly hearts Vin Diesel and Jenifer's such a good                                                                                mother she rubbed it in her face. The same thing happened                                                                               with the 5 Seconds of Summer concert.

                                  Hi-Ya! Jenifer pretended to do it, but I actually made the                                                                           noise. Loudly. On accident (mostly). We realized later                                                                          that there was a Bruce Lee busting out of a wall where we                                                              sorely missed an opportunity to be karate kicked in the head. C'est la vie.

 This is the most I've been on a bicycle since I was about 10. It was important, though, so we could get E.T. home before he became a science experiment. Wish I'd had some Reese's Pieces, though.

                                       This perfectly sums up our political views. #POTUS

The next post will be the last. Well, of the wax museum anyway. Not the last post ever. I don't think.

Monday, November 23, 2015

I Know. It's Getting Ridiculous. But Here's Part III

Just gonna jump in this time. Don't think I'm a fruitcake if you don't know what's going on. There is an explanation. Sort of.

                        Just riding a camel in the desert. I think this is Lawrence of Arabia. Or                                                  maybe the Mummy before he got mummified. Whatever. The camel was cool.

Me and The Duke. I really just did this for my dad, who is a John
Wayne superfan. I don't like him (John Wayne, not my dad)
                                 because when I was growing up  I was forced to watch every.                             single. movie. he ever made

                                     Go ahead, punk. Make my day. He looks scary. I just                                                                          look confused. Maybe because I needed a gun. And a cigar.

                                        I think this is supposed to be a young Robert Redford                                                                           and young Paul Newman. I don't know what movie this is from. I'm                                                                       uneducated in the ways of Westerns.

                             I thought they were the cops. Jenifer corrected me and said they                                                             were the bad guys. Or maybe that's vice versa. We look sad to be in                                                                                        jail, though. So there's that.

                                        I posed with Pierce because this is one of my                                                                                    husband's favorite movies. Know why? Because Renee Russo                                                                                             shows her boobies.

                                  At this point I was hungry and wished Forrest's "chocklates"                                                                                  was real. And what's up with my hair?

                                      Nobody puts Baby in a corner. And nobody can keep                                                                          their balance on that stupid log, either. Theses pictures were                                                                    captured seconds before we each fell off. I tried to get Jenifer                                                                   to do the lift with me, but no such luck. Besides, we wouldn't                                                                         have had anyone to take our picture while lifting...

                               Live long and prosper. This was my idea and everyone after us                                                              did the same thing. I was offended, until I realized I should be                                                                       flattered. It's not like anyone else would have thought of                                                                      something this cool. I'm confused, though. Which one is the                                                                                         REAL captain? Kirk or Picard?

Ok. Only about eleventy billion more posts to go.....

Part II of the Wax Museum

Ok, so to get you up-to-date: Wild girls' weekend in LA. See stuff. See weird people. Act like kids. Hilarity ensues.

Here's part 2 of the wax museum photos where we were looked at like we were crazy people.

                    Jenifer and Julia. I don't know which one I think is more beautiful (XOXO BFF)

                                                   Just having a drink with Bette Davis.

                           Personally, I don't know what all the fuss is about having Bette Davis                                                          eyes. Frankly she looks like she could've been a tad bitchy.

                                              Jen just hamming it up with Marlene Dietrich.

           Jen sharing a drink and some laughs with Katherine Hepburn (?) Really not sure who that is.

          Wow. I just realized I got Jen voguing with Marilyn and Dietrich. Madonna would be jealous.

                             Never have been a Charlie Chaplin fan, but it was pretty cool                                                                to wear the hat. Wish I'd had one of those little mustaches, though.

                                    Eek! Eek! Eek! Take my word for it: Don't shower at the                                                               Bates Motel. Especially with Alfred Hitchcock standing there like a creeper.

                                 So I figured it only fitting that I stick out my hip and                                                                  snarl with Elvis, considering his death almost sent my mom into labor with me.

                         It was actually around lunch time, but you have breakfast any time                                                                               of the day now that McDonald's says so.

More on the way........