I was gobsmacked at the response to the Blog Resurrection. Here I'm thinking that I'm being rather self-indulgent and possibly borderline whiney about doing Swing Time again.
Maybe not. Right now, I'm not the best judge of whether I'm "normal" (or Abby Normal, as we say in my family, with credit to Mel Brooks).
Thanks to Matthew for telling me about the new Crazy Meds link. As you can see, I've been redesigning the blog (easier to read, no?) and I'll be putting the old resource links back up. And Ann, you were so right to let Martin's family know what the deal was.
Guzzle. Ralph. Thump.
Well, one thing I've discovered in my psychiatric travels is that manic depressives are often alcoholics. Self-medicating, dontcha know. Recently, when seeing the crisis intervention pdoc, he gave me a sideways look when I told him that I don't drink. I don't. Here's why.
I had a short but seriously heavy guzzle season back in the mid '90s, when I was a hot-shit NYC editor with a big, fat ego, and I managed to drink my way through many Chelsea bars with my drinking pal, Steve, another editor.
And then after finding myself puking in the Hoboken train station at 1 a.m. one too many times, I stopped drinking altogether. Because yeah, it runs in the family, that alcoholism thing. I was one step away from it, no question.
Previously to that little incident, I was addicted to Oxycodone, due to a painful cervical disk condition. My Dr. Feelgood was an orthopedist who later lost his license to practice medicine because he loved to write prescriptions that were at best questionable. I remember that the first time he examined me, he asked me this: "What kind of drugs do you like?"
Well, what did I know? So he got me hooked on Oxy. Now, mind you, this was in the early '90s, when the Oxy problem was not publicized, and all of us addicts had little trouble getting snockered. Boy, I loved the high I got. It acted in lieu of the psychotropic medication I should have been taking.
So the neck gets better--but now I'm craving the Oxy, its splendiferous high that makes the psychic pain, anxiety, and mania calm down. So I keep telling him it hurts and he keeps giving me happiness and sunshine in pill form. And if I ran out and couldn't get to the office, he very kindly put the Rx in an envelope and taped it to the office door. Because you know, these drugs can't be called in to your local CVS.
I finally realized that I was addicted. And went cold turkey. A nightmare, about which I never spoke about. Not to friends, not to family. I did it alone.
And then it was the alcohol, which happened about four years later. You would think, having been on Oxy and then having to kick it, I would have avoided drinking. Who says addicts are smart people?
The final chapter--hospitalization in 1995, with a diagnosis of bipolar II. It's been changed to bipolar I but I'm not sure that means shit. Take your pick. And during that hospitalization, the pdocs put me into an AA meeting because they didn't believe me when I said I didn't drink. I stood up in the meeting and said, "My name is Marilyn and I'm bipolar. And I don't belong here because I'm not an alcoholic." Since then, I've met several recovering alcoholics who suggested that maybe I did belong there. Because having kicked one addiction made me ripe for another.
I suspect that having an addictive personality and being bipolar go hand in hand. Hey, it's cheap and easy to drink to medicate. These days, I've wised up. And get myself to a pdoc rather than immerse myself in something far more dangerous than taking Seroquel and Lamictal.