New Med.

Dr. Saint scaled back my wellbutrin and put me on a low dosage of cymbalta, or as I like to call it: werewolfitol.  It is some pretty amazing stuff I must say and unlike other meds it doesn’t take days and weeks to build up in your system before you see a difference.  This stuff had me humming on day one.  There are some light side effects that I expect will go away with some time, such as I feel slightly disoriented from time to time and a tad dizzy.  My jaw and forehead muscles feel tense at times and I need to make a concentrated effort to relax them which is actually more distressing to me, it gets very uncomfortable and I have no clue what this looks like to the observer.  I have only been on it for a few days so I have nothing much else to report on it.

I still find myself in an isolated state.  I think this is to be expected not only because of my circumstances but also mildly due in part to my reaction to social activities and media.  I think after a time people begin to notice a downward pattern and no longer wish to engage in it, expecting a negative outcome.  When you see a guy make lengthy diatribes, no matter how well informed, on a number of subjects you become less likely to open up to them.  I suppose I understand this, though I am not certain I understand the expectation that people have of putting something out into the world and not having it met with criticism.  This is an unrealistic expectation, only a deluded mind operates this way, and I think that social media is training deluded minds.  It gives us nothing but “like” buttons and encourages us to “share” inanities, if we don’t or if we call people out on these things we are deviants.  We are the outsiders, the freaks, the aberrations, we who question this cycle of insipid drivel.  I adore the idea of social media as a forum for maintaining contact with a large group of people, I loathe the way it is implemented and what it actually is and has become.
I invented a term for something that I thought was clever but in retrospect I think that it could be applied to just about anything that we overdo.  The term is: “romantic positivity” as I said however I think you could apply it to anything that you senselessly shit out in abundance.  Romantic positivity is one of the obvious ones, you see people who put posters up all over their cubicles with happy slogans and tell you that happiness is a choice.  They tell you that you just have to be/think positive and the universe will reward you.  It is all nonsense of course.  These people were more than likely deeply traumatized as children, either sexually or physically and are making up for something, trying desperately to cling to some kind of hope that there can be a ray of light in their lives.  Maybe there can, I am not suggesting that there can’t.  Alas, they make it their mission to include the rest of humanity in their own personal crusade of happiness and positivity.  We all have ups and downs.  We have them for a reason.  We have the downs so that we know when we are up, so we know the difference.  To deny ourselves the down is to negate the up.  So really, you positivity romanticists are achieving the exact opposite effect.  Go watch a tragic romance movie in your underwear while eating double fudge chocolate icecream and have a good cry.  Get it all out and come back content, not happy, not super positive, just content.  But hey, don’t take my advice for it, I take pills to balance out my moods and I am just barely content myself so…
I saw my wife in a play.  I hadn’t mentioned it to this point because this is about me.  I just wanted to make a note here however, she starred in a community play and she melted some faces.  She is so incredibly talented.  She has a real gift and I am truly happy for her.  I give her every ounce of support that I am capable of from near and from afar.  There were some things about the whole production that had me slightly worried to be honest but it isn’t as though I was going to tell my wife that she couldn’t do something that she loved, not that she would listen if if I had, nor would I expect her to.  I just wouldn’t want to be that kind of a guy.  But I did have some misgivings, some of them were kind of legitimate.  For example, she managed to gain a fan from a far away large city who sent her fan mail.  No big deal.  Until he returned with a dozen long stemmed roses in person.  No big deal.  At least when he found out she was married he backed down, however it might not have gone down quite that way… Not that this would be a reason for me to tell her to stop.  I love my wife but this is something that is a part of her life that I can’t make a part of mine no matter how much I try.  I want to be involved, it just doesn’t work with our current situation.  This is related to my last post about being detached, by the time I find myself integrated with the people involved I am too far behind to bother trying to play catch up and get overwhelmed.  This whole world is well beyond me and it has left me behind, I wonder at times if this wasn’t some of my wife’s intention.  Her own world where she can escape having to think about or worry about me.  It doesn’t bother me, it makes sense.  I have been a handful.
I would like for there to be so much more for me to say.  There really isn’t.  New meds, new week.  I was hesitant to even update with a post this week but seeing as I saw the good doctor I figured I should.
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Detached

I no longer have much of a social existence.  This is hazardous for bipolar types.  You need a support network.  Whether your friends know about your ins and outs or not is irrelevant, you need to be around people from time to time and have them interested enough to check on you.  I have rarely if ever had people in my life who ever gave much of a fuck about me.  This is not a self pity party.  It is a mere statement of fact, I am a very self aware person.  Unless I had something to offer people directly by way of services or access to services or goods my value to people and relevance drops to nothing.  Those people eventually drift out of my life.  You will doubtlessly say something to the effect of: “Well then they weren’t really your friends!”  Clearly.  The issue here being that this is just about all of the people I have ever met.  I have let relationships that seemed genuine slide to the horizon and kept them in view with the odd phone call only to meet the standard: “Yeah, sure! Soon, man, really soon.”  Which is friendship for: “I never want to see you again but I am too much of a coward to just outright say it.”

As I have said in the past I have no skill in building and maintaining relationships and I spend way too much time thinking about it.  I watch myself say and do things that are at odds with things that occur in my mind.  Sometimes I am a verbal thinker so a social setting is actually a negative experience for me, especially when a new idea presents itself.  If I haven’t had the chance to write down my thoughts on a subject nor even just mull them over privately I can say some stupid shit in a conversation that I regret later.  Things that I don’t even believe in.  Not always, but sometimes.  Usually I am fairly quick, but even this comes off as a weaponized effort, as though I am bludgeoning people with my wit or opinions.  Then there are times when just a group dynamic makes me no better than a teenager amongst a group of adults.  I wasn’t like this even seven years ago, I am in decline and I have no clue why.  I have spent a fair amount of time away from social settings and this is making it worse.  I desperately want to be involved in them.  I want to find myself in a scenario where I have a group of people that I see so regularly that it is taken for granted almost.  I had something like this in the past and it was excellent, no worries about who to see or where, just always be at “Kim’s” or the cafe.  It was very much like a modern sitcom, not going to lie.  But it was mine and I miss it.
Lately I have been rather detached.  I feel a vague sense of desire to be involved but seeing as I am so far removed by the time I actually get to the point where I am socializing I am so far behind and so far from relevant that I feel like I have this massive game of catch-up to play and I am overwhelmed.  Nobody else seems to see it nor seems to care enough to include me so there I am, physically present but totally and for all other purposes not present nor pertinent.  For all that it matters I may as well be another piece of furniture.  My wife does this.  I know she doesn’t mean to.  I hope anyway… Either way, the result is the same and inside my mind and my heart I am on the dark side of the moon, at the bottom of my well, screaming… Alone and screaming.  Silently and violently spewing my metaphysical lungs up, staring at the corner where the ceiling meets the wall with a slight furrow in my brow.  Partly because I can’t let anyone see the abject pain and suffering in my eyes for fear that they will ask me what is wrong and make a big deal of it.  Partly because the meds are making my head spin with the fervent activity taking place all around me and for a moment I am frustrated and I genuinely feel jealous of an ostrich’s ability to bury its own head.
Where once I was able to bounce into a room and make everything about me, which honestly is a douchey move, I now have a hard time even keeping up.  I think I understand the frustration that the handicapped feel sometimes with certain situations.  Knowing that you are powerless to do anything about it.  I am no longer a socially adept creature.  Where once I had this superpower that allowed me to be (even though I wasn’t) I now have nothing.  I have to wonder if the medication is worth it.  Not wanting to kill yourself while living a lifestyle that no sane person would care to live?  If it weren’t for the medication I would want to kill myself more now than ever.  I can’t drink.  I can’t relax and be myself.  I can’t be nearly as creative as I once was.  I’m pretty certain my wife doesn’t even like me anymore.  I am trying really hard to look forward at the positive things my life will hold other than the fact that it will still be there before me and that is the list total.  It will still be there before me.  Fucking sweet.  I am SO EXCITED.
I shouldn’t complain.  This may sound really shallow but I would trade twenty years off the end of my life to live passionately and wildly with my wife until then.  To dance and drink and smoke and fuck and run and jump and scream and live and you get the idea.
This old man at thirtysomething shit has got to go.  As Weezer said: “It’s time I got back to the good life”.

Meds/Alcohol

This isn’t intended to be a long post.  I wanted to update my last post with regards to mixing wellbutrin or bupropion (generic) and alcohol.  First I should note that I accept full responsibility for my actions. I was not trying to place blame on others.  I was only expressing dismay that people who should have had concern for my my well being showed absolutely none.  That said, I have been known to act at least part way foolish when drunk in the past.  Okay, fine, there have been some fairly reckless episodes.  This however was a completely different experience and I have spent the last few days really miserable, as though the medication is having no effect.

So I dug around a little.  Turns out you aren’t intended to mix alcohol and bupropion.  This was news to me.  Dr. Saint and I had not discussed it as it had not come up, I do not drink much more than once every two months, maybe every month and a half.  I have slowed down with age.  When I do however, like a junkie in relapse I revert to drinking the very same volume as I was used to.  I found that mixing bupropion and alcohol can cause any of these: “hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, mood and behavioral changes, depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, and panic attacks.”

Specifically delusions, mood and behavioural changes can explain much of what little I remember from the events that took place on Friday.  Eventually depression and suicidal thoughts which lasted throughout the weekend.  I love how that sounds like a weather forecast.  Also I went digging through some forums and it is a mixed bag but I am finding reports from all over claiming that what I am experiencing isn’t uncommon.  Apparently it can negate the typical effects of the medication for a few days.  This I found most distressing, I had been having some really miserable thoughts over the last two days, especially given the events of Friday night.  I honestly have not felt this alone in forever and was frankly feeling really suicidal.  I decided to lay low and keep my mind off of it as much as possible.  I chose to watch “House” on DVD.  I have smoked a grand total of about seven cigarettes all weekend.  Which is dramatically low for me.  I am becoming a different person.  There will be more on this later perhaps when I am in better spirits.

Hungover Ramblings.

I was curious about whether my total lack of competitive nature was all inherent or medication.  Last night I found myself in a physical altercation due to excessive libations and the presence of women.  I had no interest in these women, I was obnoxiously wasted and I assumed that I was amongst friends.  Or at least acquaintances, colleagues, people who knew me and didn’t wish me immediate harm.  This was not true for several reasons.  First, these individuals allowed me to get wasted.  Yeah, I know it was on me not to get drunk, especially with the medication but at a certain point it gets tough to see where to draw the line.  I bounced over that line, mostly because I felt I was in good company and it wouldn’t be an issue, I was no more than quarter mile from my home.  So even totally wasted I could crawl to my door without an issue.  I cut loose a little bit.  As I said I was obnoxious, it happens.  Jack isn’t really here anymore, I don’t have protection.  I don’t have many of the qualities that I require to recover from boneheaded decisions and drunken reactions.  I do dumb shit and I don’t have a filter, translator or bodyguard.

The place is packed with people that I know, almost everyone there.  I’m pretty sure I offended some random guy that I didn’t know.  Some ladies arrive that I vaguely recall from another time.  Yeah, I had met them.  I had helped one to become involved with a guy I am acquainted with at work.  I get her attention and she sits at my table.  I have no clue what I am saying or doing at this point.  I am thinking about that fellow and looking around because I am convinced he wants to see her and I know he is in the bar.  I excuse myself, kinda… I guess.  I stumble over a table or two and approach him with the intention of telling him she is at my table and next thing I know I’m on the ground with this asshole on top of me.  I don’t think I even had a chance to say anything and if I did I know I didn’t say anything mean, nor was it long enough to be all that offensive because I was within range of him for about three seconds.  Just about long enough to say something like: “Oh, hey there you are, I found (Lady X) she’s at my table…”
Then I’m on the ground.  I was drunk, so my memory obviously isn’t totally reliable.  Everyone else there was drunk so theirs won’t be either.  I really don’t care what the truth is, I should be angry.  I should be really angry.  I don’t think the attack was justified.  I don’t think that him not being kicked out of the bar was okay either.  The one part way reasonable thing that I admit I did was to leave immediately.  I was fairly upset at the moment and I needed to leave before I did something I regretted.  I walked home and kicked a few things and awoke feeling confused and slightly guilty.  I have no reason to feel guilty other than that I drank a bit too much.  In my strange drunken state I think that I was doing this guy a favour by holding a place for his lady friend?  I really don’t know what their relationship status is now though so maybe that was the issue?  Either way, An unprovoked physical attack on my person is something that should right now have me really upset and it doesn’t.
I don’t care.  I’m not totally apathetic, I am not anhedonic.  My pride isn’t wounded.  I was a drunken jackass and a guy irrationally attacked me, two wrongs already not making a right.  I could get more angry and go find him but adding another wrong to this isn’t going to make it any more right.  This is new for me though.  Unfamiliar territory.  In the past this is something that I would get wound up about.  Something that would fester.  I would build it up in my mind and the tension of it would cause me to engage in all kinds of reckless behaviours.  Drugs, more alcohol, womanizing, maybe even get in a fight with someone totally unrelated to this original incident.  Instead today I awoke and my first thought was: I was in a room full of people who knew me, some of them call me their friend.  Other than pulling the dude off of me not one of them did a damn thing for me before or after.  They saw me over-drinking and didn’t try to stop me.  They saw my shitty drunk behaviour and didn’t try to get me home.  After I got smashed to the ground they picked me up and pushed me out the door and washed their hands of me.  That was it.  Human garbage.
I should feel some kind of way about that.  All I feel is really alone.  Which is the way I have felt this entire time.  Which is one of the many reasons I take medication.  So, even without Jack’s help I get myself into trouble, but without his help I have a harder time getting out of it.  There is nobody there to catch me when I fall.  On the medication I have no edge.  No competitive nature.  I had no rage nor desire to dominate.  I didn’t attempt to fight back, it didn’t even occur to me.  I was just confused.
I don’t think that alcohol and I can be friends anymore.  I have never done it all that well to begin with and now with the meds I do it ultra-poorly.

A Deck of My Own‏

Everyone has played at least one game of cards so it makes a fine analogy.  Immediately after taking the cards from the box you skim through the deck for the manufacturers/rule cards and jokers, you pluck those and shuffle.  Well, what about the times where you leave the jokers in?  Have those not been some of the most entertaining games that you have ever played?  Sure, some people get a little snippy because the “wildcard” dynamic skews the game too dramatically for them to have fun.  I’m going to step outside of the metaphor here for one second to point out that these are the people who don’t like that the shifted dynamic has drawn attention away from them, or made them feel less in control.  Which is the point of the wildcard to begin with.  You aren’t playing house rules, gritty, stand-off style poker where the goal is to walk away with everyones money, this is supposed to be fun.  Right?  That’s what the wildcard means to me anyway, by joining a game where the joker is left in you tacitly agree to enjoy yourself and not be a fusspot when things don’t go your way.

Enter bipolar type 2 stage left.  I do not come to social functions with a contract that states up front that by inviting me you waive the right to be a whiny little turd because nobody is paying attention to you.  I should have in retrospect, it might have put some people at ease, or at least deterred them from bothering to waste everyones time on a perfectly good night.  Don’t get me wrong, I am totally to blame… Well, in so much as a blasting cap is to blame for a building demolition.  I make a marvellous catalyst for other peoples personal and psychological issues.  The great instigator.  Could be why I find myself alone on a big heap of bones in this dusty lair full of women’s panties…  However, I posit that there are those that have learned rather quickly to utilize my not insubstantial talents to their advantage in very short order.  You might recall me mentioning that there were times when I would let Jack loose in a given direction and reap the rewards.  Others had learned to do this as well.  Not in an exploitative sense, playing a joker with an ace is so much more effective than playing a joker alone and the joker isn’t stupid.
For a time in my twenties I had a stacked deck.  I was the lone joker and I had pocket aces, life was good.  I miss those days but nothing can last forever and eventually some of those aces met queens and became kings.  I stayed a joker and ended up rolling around with another joker, which was a bad scene… Two wildcards might sound like a big win, but you get accused of cheating and you might not walk away with the pot at the end of the…. Oh fuck the cards analogy.  I ended up on kind of a drug bender in my late twenties going into my early thirties.  I was at a pretty big low and washed out rather badly.  I always hoped that I would find myself.  That I would find a place to belong.  I thought I had in my twenties with my friends, I thought we would remain relevant to one another for life.  Such was not the case and while I still know them we rarely speak.  Life goes on.  I still have yet to find a place where I feel as though I fit in.  Like a discarded joker, lost from his deck.  Stuck in the spokes of some bratty kids bicycle.
I was always the wildcard.  I was always the one with the crooked grin and fire in my eyes.  I’ve run circles in the streets with roman candles in my pockets in front of the city hall of one of North America’s largest cities.  I approached a bouncer at a nightclub who was frisking people wearing a trenchcoat and managed to not get groped by proclaiming: “OH YEAH! TOUCH ME BIG FELLA!!!”  I caught the attention of a currently popular female sitcom actress when she was on her last show and had her spend the whole night hanging off of me (I had no clue who she was for about an hour).  I’ve danced on tables.  I’ve entered wet t-shirt contests.  And almost won.  As a man.  Against a woman with fake breasts.  By audience applause. I Iggy Popped that shit.  At the end of the day, the ones who burn the brightest burn out first, obviously.  So when people tell me that they went to college straight from high school, did some “crazy drinking”, graduated, got hired in an unrelated field for way less than expected, married and had kids… Oh, and once they saw a blimp…  I feel sorry for them.  I really do.  Because the things I describe above are only a quick selection that I pulled off the top of my head and I am a nobody.
So, my total inhibition in certain settings has been a mixed blessing.  Having kissed a starlet is a nice story even though most people don’t believe it.  The flip side being that when I sit down to make a bucket list I draw a blank.  Go see the louvre?  Sure.  Can I get a blowjob there?  I know, the historic majesty of it should be enough and by now you would figure I would have had enough bj’s.  In reality, it takes more and more to get my engine to turn over.  So as vapid and basic as it sounds, cheap thrills are kind of what does the trick.  Perhaps I damaged a synapse or two while I was pouring copious amounts of narcotics on them.  The core problem being the vehicle that brought me here in the first place.  The hypomania that is the driving force behind these behaviours.  That has taken me so far away from anything that I can call a home.  That has left me here broken and alone with a collection of stories and nobody to tell them to at the bottom of the well.  The hope has always been that I would round the next bend and find a place where I fit in.  Find a group of people that understood me that I liked.  People who liked me who I could remain relevant to for the rest of my days.  Some sense of belonging and security.  To get shuffled back into the deck and played along with the rest.