It's a pity party -- and you're invited!
We've all been inundated by bad news, both personal and nationwide. Friends, family and our country as a whole seem to be sinking into a bog of misery. (Anyone else picturing The Neverending Story? No? Moving on...)
It seems like bloggers have been doing their best to report on this but also keep it in perspective. We're all desperately trying to cling to some hope here.
But you know what? I quit.
I'm taking a break from that grasping need to be positive. Instead, I'm throwing myself a pity party. I'm going to soak in my misery like it's a luxuriant bubble bath. And I'm inviting you along for the ride!
I'm about to get to my venting. (Gentlemen, start your violins!) But let me take a moment to explain:
It's exhausting to try and stay positive when you feel the world is crumbling around you. When every day you're almost afraid to find out what's going to happen next.
So let's take some of that simmering discontent and stress and get it OUT! Let's throw ourselves a big ole' pity party.
And if this isn't reason enough, I'll sweeten the pot by adding a prize: Liz Pulliam Weston's books Deal with Your Debt (signed) and Your Credit Score: Your Money & What's at Stake. The credit score book is a newly updated, 2008 version that reflects changes in the credit industry as a whole.
1. No judging other people. Maybe it doesn't seem tragic from where you're sitting, but everyone's accustomed to something different. Let them have their grief just like they let you have yours.
2. Don't feel bad for utter lack of optimism. Think of this as the binge before the diet. (Oh, come on, we all do it!) Just purge this negativity out of your system. Get it all out on the blogosphere. Don't pretty it up, or hedge with "but I'm sure it'll all be alright." Just spew it out, folks!
3. Try to keep profanity to a minimum, folks. I do sometimes use it in my writing, so I'd feel like a hypocrite banning it all together. But let's try and keep this a family-friendly contest, m'kay?
4. This has to be something that happened to you. No profiting off other people's misery. That's what the stock market is for.
5. One entry per person. Though I will consider updates from entrants, depending on the severity of new developments. In other words, no "And now I've stubbed my toe!" updates.
6. Contest will end next Friday, 11:59 p.m. Pacific. That should allow time for plenty of sob stories to jostle one another for dominance. I still have no idea how I'll decide a winner. I'm hesitant to judge one person truly above all others. Perhaps I'll take the top ten or so and put those in a random generator? Feel free to write in with suggestions on that score.
Okay: Let me get rolling on my own little misery cloud.
I honestly couldn't tell you when the final straw broke. Or what it was. Might be that the soonest a psychiatrist could see Tim was April 3rd. Or that I missed two days of Lexapro because because the pharmacy couldn't get ahold of my doctor for help. Or that I'm out of my energy medication. Or that all of this has caused writing posts to be a huge struggle akin to extracting teeth. From a lion. A rabid lion. (Do lions get rabid?)
At any rate, there are a few biggies in here:
1. Tim can't find anyone to see him sooner than April 3rd. This means another three weeks of him feeling awful and barely coping. And of course that will only BEGIN the medication process, which could take quite a long time to settle into.
2. Missing Lexapro for two days straight did NOT serve to put me in a good frame of mind for dealing with life in general, let alone our little ups and downs.
3. Energy meds:
Last Monday, my pharmacy tried to run my credit card to charge the meds. Since I buy in bulk, the $330 charge apparently set off some alarms. The card company put a hold on the transaction. Tuesday, it contacted me. I okayed the transaction. But apparently the card company saw no reason to, say, notify the pharmacy that they should retry the charge.
The pharmacy says it emailed me Monday, but it used my hotmail account, which, for no discernible reason, has been blocking just about every piece of mail that comes its way. So when they didn't hear from me by Friday, they called. Except, of course, that I was out. (Seriously, what are the odds?!)
Tim remembered to tell me they called sometime on Saturday. I knew they weren't open Sundays. So I called on Monday. They then explained what the hold-up had been and promised to bill it again.
In other words, if I'm lucky, the meds got mailed Monday/Tuesday. I'll probably get them sometime next week.
In the meantime, I'm sleeping 10-11 hours a day and still so exhausted that I literally couldn't keep my eyes open yesterday while I was working. I'm terrified to leave the house because, on a good day, I can maybe get three errands done. Without the meds, I'm thinking I'll probably start to stall out midway through one.
Oh, and I am currently experience bouts of random sleepiness and/or exhaustion 1-2 times each hour.
4. Tim's skin: It's gone completely whacko.
The problem with this being that light therapy is one of the best ways to help keep his skin under control. But he can't do light therapy when he's all broken out (apparently skin redness increases the likelihood of burning). But he can't get clear without the light therapy...
In the end, he's now on yet another dose of steroids and Bactrim, in case part of the redness is due to a staph infection. This is the second dose of steroids in about five weeks' time, so we're going to have to try to stave off weight gain, since that would require a new round of jeans-buying that we really can't afford right now.
5. Tim's smoking again, which is just so great for his asthma and his skin. Not only does the smoke probably help dry out his skin, he has to go outside to have a cigarette. It's been particularly cold and dry here lately. So he's really not helping his own eternal quest to keep his skin moisturized.
6. Because of the stress on his mental and physical state, he's been sleeping even more than I currently am. While I understand on a certain level that it's a coping (and, for skin, healing) mechanism, the chronic fatigue part of me wants to shake him and yell, GET UP! Plus it gets boring being the only one awake at any given time.
Still, I've promised not to try and force consciousness on him. (When we thought it was regular depression, I tried to get him to sleep more regular hours and get out more.) From what I can tell about bipolar disorder, these states are pretty normal and trying to alter them is probably an exercise in futility.
7. Tim's parents are once again currently housing my favorite brother-in-law while he waits for an available bed in a rehab program. His parents keep being his favorite fans -- I swear, you'd think they were talking about a 5 year old, "He's doing sooooo good, Abby. Soooo good. And he knows that as long as he stays away from the people he needs to stay away from, he'll be okay."
Of course, no one talks about the fact that he was back to not only using drugs but dealing them, while still under the supervision of a parole officer. They just applaud him for being self-aware enough to know that he "needed help" -- something which, quite unremarkably, coincided with the time that he knew his UA was going to be dirty.
Meanwhile, my husband is fighting for any chance at stability and employment, trying to pay off debt, and be financially responsible. But his parents rarely reference that. They ask how his skin is doing. They ask whether he has gotten an appointment yet with a psychiatrist. Then they start talking about the new wonders that Matt's doing.
And about half of that tends to be things he made up. Like the fact that he gained weight in prison (yeah, you read that right) because it cost a bunch of money if you wanted to work out. Though he didn't have any trouble calling his parents so often that they ran up a $500 phone bill thanks to the prison's collect charges.
Or that his Fossil watch cost him $900. This would, of course, presume that he paid for it. It would also presume that Fossil made it out of white gold, since nearly identical watches were selling online for $80-90.
When we confronted his mom with this fact, she was quiet and then said, "Well, I'm just telling you what he told me." But it doesn't seem to matter how many times we out and out prove he's lying. His parents keep taking his word as gospel.
(Note: I understand that I'm not a parent and thus cannot fathom a parent's love and how hard it would be to admit that your son is an addict/will keep doing this until you stop helping him. Still, it's pretty damn hard to watch Tim struggling to lead a decent life and only hear positive things about his ne'er-do-well brother.)
8. Oh, and guess whose brother now claims to also have bipolar disorder? I swear, that kid can't stand for the spotlight to be off him for a minute. It makes me ache to know how it's affecting Tim to constantly watch this cycle with his parents and his brother. Frankly, I'm worried about how much all this stuff is affecting his depression. It sure as hell can't be helping.
9. And speaking of family, Tim's aunt Jackie passed away, making her the THIRD family member of his to die in 9 months. First his paternal grandmother (his last remaining grandparent), then her daughter, who everyone knew was just sort of hanging on until her mother passed away, and now his mom's sister. None of them were in good health, but it's still quite a blow.
It also means a trip down to be with family, because there's no way he's missing the service. (If my energy meds don't get here in time, we've already agreed we'll find another way to get him down south.)
This means: More exposure to smoke/smoking (mom and brother smoke), more exposure to brother (and having to practice calming exercises so as to not set him on fire), more exposure to skin irritants (they have a dog) and probably more spending, since going to see his friends in a nearby city tends to be a half-day excursion.
10. Oh, and we got the promissory note back. The debt is Tim's. So that's another $3000 or so we'll have to pay back.
11. To top things off, we still haven't gotten word from the unemployment office about whether Tim will qualify for a second extension of benefits. If he doesn't, our budget will shrink down to $1700 a month, with $700 going to rent, $502 going to insurance premiums, and $100 going to utilities (cable modem/cell phone lines/satellite TV/landline). But to qualify for help with DSHS, we'd have to earn $1517.
Okay folks! Get out the streamers and party hats! Let's get this pity party into full swing!
I want some "Why me" stories, and I want them stat!