Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Am I crazy? Have I Ever Denied It?

I'm bipolar. Have I said that before? I think so. Probably a bit too often, actually. This is the danger time of year for me to have bipolar episodes. And forcing myself to interact out in the public in a time when I'm already pissed off that the day is gone in so few hours is almost more than I can bear. The actual onset of winter depresses me, and all I really want to do is lie in bed, but stuff needs doing. Not cookie making--I like cookie making. But in this particular point in the season, I grow melancholy. And in the transition from feeling fine to melancholy is a minefield of emotion like sparks and loud noises and lots of other irritable people, forced by the season to spend money they don't have. Property Taxes are due. Thanksgiving is almost here. Then Xmas. Sorry. That's how I feel about the holidays.

I forced myself today to maintain an inner calm and to be as kind to my fellow prisoners as possible. I went out of my way to help an old women (even older than I) find Rebocks at the department store that's going out of business. Then I helped her find someone to ring them up for her. The young woman who rung them up for her was sporting a spectacular display of ink on her neck. I complimented her on the beauty of this body art. And she told me her family owns a tattoo parlor in New Jersey. She proudly told me that she too was a tatoo artist, and showed me the canvas of her arm. A line of impatient shoe buyers formed behind us, so I thanked her and moved on. But I'd have loved to hear her story.

Off to the bra department relatively cheerful. That didn't last long. The cheerful part. Oh I remained kind to my fellow prisoners, but I hate the bra shopping experience and am always shocked by the cost.

Then up to bed linens and another pleasant interaction with a women looking for a particular sized and colored top sheet. Easily accomplished, I found what I wanted and went to the check out desk.

On the way out the door, an alarm goes off and a loud voice comes on the speakers telling me to go to the nearest check stand. It took me forever to find someone to tell me what needed clearing so I could leave this part of the prison that is the entire outside world to me. Life is hell. I don't know how you do it. You have nothing but my respect and admiration.

Then it was off to Big Lots! You can imagine how that went. At this point I was not the only cranky shopper. Lets have a round of scowls now. I did not find what I was looking for, but managed to spend near $100 anyway. Now this is a really bad sign. Spending money you don't have on shopping sprees is one in the constellation of symptoms that makes up the disorder called bipolar. Shopping with abandon is a symptom I can't afford. It's often the thing that brings a person with bipolar disorder to financial ruin and causes great stress and strain on families.

The last straw was the grocery store. Yes, I have what I need to bake cookies, and will do so with love in my heart, but I'll spend the rest of tonight recovering from the tantrums that went off all over the store. Not me, oh no I kept my cool, but children of all ages were having fits and their parents were having meltdowns and it was a bad time all round until I got the check stand. And I was able to do one last good deed for the day. I let the alcoholic lady with the cart full of Junior Mints go before me. She said, "Are you sure?" And I nearly got a contact hangover. But I smiled sweetly, I swear, and said, "It's okay, I'm not in a hurry."

And since I got home a couple of hours ago I've had three visitors. So I haven't had my news fix or my cup of tea. I haven't even unpacked my shopping bags. So for now, the doors locked, I'm not answering the phone and I'm resting.


Beach Bum said...

Off to the bra department relatively cheerful. That didn't last long.

Surprisingly a similar event happened to me. My cute little urchin of a daughter ran away from me a several months ago and by chance I guess ended up in the bra department running through the various stands and racks. Since Wiggles was more than a little high on sugar she was not easy to catch. As I was chasing her from underneath stands and racks I got more than a few strange looks from women trying to buy the undergarments.

Utah Savage said...

It's hell in the bra department. Miss Wiggles should avoid the bra department as long as possible.

Steve Emery said...

I'm not bipolar (at least I ahven't been diagnosed) but I have had some similar experiences since the time changed. I am ready to snap and blow up sometimes. And people DRIVE M E C R A Z Y!! I avoided everyone Sunday, actually not going outside our house (lest neighbors see me and start a conversation). I skulked at windows to see if anyone was out there the few times I did have to step out and do something. I ignored knocks at the front door and two doorbell rings. I was NOT available. I felt like EVERYONE was boring and I had no patience to listen to anyone else's stuff.

So I think a number of us have a rough transition into winter - whether we have other issues or not. It's the loss of the light, I think. It makes me crazy or saps all my energy and leaves me feeling half dead.

And shopping. Don't even get me started. I have the shortest routes plotted through stores, and I move at an incredible speed, parting everyone in front of me with the long pointy psychic wedge I push 15 feet in front of me. My family can't figure out how it is that everyone gets out of my way, pauses to let me pass, etc. I'm not being or looking mean, but I have an intensity of purpose (It's called, "Let me out of here before I blow up and bury everyone in the cinder block rubble!") that people can feel even from behind. I hate most shopping - but mostly I hate it this time of year when there is so much of it to do AND there are so many people out there!

Utah Savage said...

How nice to be understood.

Tengrain said...

Utah -

On Sunday on the plane home, there was a kiddie who screamed for a nearly a solid three hours until we landed in CO (for the second leg home). The parents did nothing to try to make this toddler stop - nothing to suck on, or chew on, and they did not take him to the back of the plane or make any other attempt to minimize the agony for their fellow passengers.

When we landed, I asked the mother what the next part of their travel plans were, because I would cancel my flight before I got on the same plane with them again. She gave me the look of death.

Some people should not be parents. Heck, some people should not have had parents. This does not make you insane. If anything, it proves that you ARE sane.



Stella said...

Bra shopping sucks. No kind of shopping sucks worse than bra shopping.

Beach, Utah is right. Please make sure Miss Wiggles avoids bra shopping as long as the can.

My empathy, Utah.

Beach Bum said...

While I would go anywhere and do anything for either of my children please understand when I say that when Wiggles does go for that first bra I intend to not be anywhere around.

Utah Savage said...

Tengrian, I'm so jealous all the girls got to kiss you. If I could I'd throw my arms around you and give you a big hug for that comment. Utah is the land of big families. Never fly into this hell hole unless it's on a redeye. One notices on flights to Salt Lake from anywhere in the world, an inordinate number of blond children minus the firm hand of a parent who gives a shit. It's what makes us so special.

Stella, you've got that right. Yes, Beach we beseech you to keep Miss Wiggles out of the bra department.

linda said...

darling, you did well....I haven't been OUT of here, except the therapist for quite some time...I have almost everything delivered, including groceries, and have a husband who handles the rest...and those crazy shopping sprees? I am very familiar, with me and my daughter both a tad nuts...I learned a long time ago, I will never have any money I won't spend before I have it...it's nice you are so nice to people, I am a bitch, I admit it, even tho I try not to be-I still get told I act like one...I'm trying, I figure...

I have always thought part of the crazies this time of year is the time change, which makes me totally off for weeks. I have always been thankful I live here(ca) because I have plenty of light. I hate snow and cold and don't know how anybody stands it.

cheers and hugs... :P

Non, Je ne regrette rien said...

If spending money you don't have on shopping sprees means you are bipolar, then about 85% of Americans are bipolar.

I like these aside posts that ramble on about daily life. I still worship you, but I relate a little more.

Comrade Kevin said...

I understand your plight and have shared your frustrations---except for the whole shopping for bras part. :)

Randal Graves said...

Rugrats are why I try to avoid most public places. Maybe the lunacy of my own kids has led me to filter all the "SHUT THE FUCK UPS" towards the psycho offspring of others.

D.K. Raed said...

why can't it be daylight savings time ALL year? why mess with what is so obviously an improvement? A few years ago, that question appeared in the newspaper. I was shocked to find out how many people love the change back to standard time. What is wrong with those people (because of course there is NOTHING wrong with me)?!?

And ah so it's not just me who wonders about why this big family friendly state of utah simply cannot control their kids. The ones across the street from me are driving me nuts. Young mother, maybe 30, already has 5 of the loudest monsters screaming all day & now looks PG again. WTF?

Naj said...

Nothing like a good lavish senseless shopping spree gets me out of blues.

When I am unhappy with my life I go clothes shopping. I buy hundreds of dollars worth of stuff; come home, wear them, do a little fashion show for myself in front of the mirror or my husband; then take the clothes to my closet and keep them in their shopping bag, with tags on; and after 10 days, when I have recovered from my melancholy, or have found something more worthy to fuss about, I proudly return all my shoppings :)

It works like a charm! :)

Now, I do the same thing with food too. Well that doesn't work like a charm; but oh boy is it yummy!