I was supposed to see my daughter today but when I got up this morning her mom texted me she was crying and could I come another day. At first my all or nothing thinking had me worried my daughter wouldn’t want to see me again. Then I thought of something worse. I was there last Thursday and we were all having a good time out on the porch. My daughter suddenly got melancholy and looked sad and was barely talking. I know mental illness is hereditary. I am schizo-affective and her mom suffers with chronic depression. Luckily my daughter has not experienced any trauma but I still look for signs of depression. She is only fifteen so I know it is normal for her to be crying and not know the reason. Still I think in worst case scenarios so I am always worried. Hopefully it is unfounded.
My daughter has never liked talking on the phone. Since she was 3 the most I could get out of her was, “Hi daddy, I love you, bye daddy”. Now that she is 15 she is the same. In the days between my seeing her we text a little. Today she told me she was tired but she had slept and then she sent me the heart emoji. That means she is done texting. Her mom said she is being 15. I hope so. I am going to try to see her tomorrow. I’ll see how she feels.
I just spent 5 hours frozen in bed. My fight or flight was in full force. My chest was so tight I was barely breathing and it felt like a fist was clenched around my heart. I put the tv on to listen so I could have part of my mind diverted. The rest of it was swirling in my head. I don’t know what started it. I already took my anxiety meds. I don’t have extra. The whole time I was making deals with myself. I knew I could get rid of it by drinking one of those 24 oz. beers from next door. But the punchline is one of those cans of beer is equal to four regular beers; and I never stop after four. Still I kept bargaining. I could buy two cans and pass out early and get up on time to see my daughter tomorrow. Like that would happen. I don’t pass out early. I drink until all the alcohol is gone. No matter how bad it makes me feel the next day; And I feel bad the next day.
I don’t know how I made it through. I kept thinking I am going to see my daughter tomorrow. Maybe I just had too much anxiety to even get dressed and walk to the store. Whatever it was, I made it. I wasted the whole night, but I made it. I got up and microwaved yesterday’s soup. Then I remembered. I must have had a premonition this morning. I bought a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream without even thinking about it. I don’t know if I felt better and ate the ice cream or if I ate the ice cream and it made me feel better. Now I am cruising around on half anxiety. They say writing helps but I couldn’t even think of it earlier. I couldn’t get out of bed, never mind open a draft and wrangle a keyboard. They? They have all kinds of helpful hints, but what can you do if you don’t even have control over your body? All I had planned was shaving my face for tomorrow. I couldn’t even handle that. I’ll have to plan it for the morning before I leave. I bet anything it will be like nothing ever happened.
I told you I would feel fine today. (I already shaved my face) Even though I woke up at the ungodly hour of 8am. I did go to bed early. (2am) I usually fall asleep around 5am. That is enough sleep for me. I don’t feel tired during the day. I always have a lift in my mood when I know I’m going to see my daughter. It’s already 80 degrees outside. (I don’t know celsius since we gave up on the metric system) We might go to the beach (a block from her house) but she only likes it at high tide. It is too rocky to swim at low tide. Plus the seaweed drifts in closer to the sand.
Yesterday was fine. We just hung out on the porch all day. It was beautiful. People ask me what we “do” when I visit. I feel like saying we hang out and talk; don’t you talk to your kids?
After I got divorced visiting my daughter was a huge trigger for me to drink. Seeing her was great but I would spend the day like a family and then go home to be alone. I used to drink heavily on those nights. Luckily I stopped that and can enjoy the carry over of a good feeling. It is never dull at her house. She is there, her mom, 12 year old twin step brothers. 4 dogs and 2 cats. Plus there there are a lot of people who stop in once in a while. That cuts both ways because sometimes it is friends from when we were married and it is strange because I lost touch with them but my wife hasn’t. I get along best with her cousin. She is much younger but she has always been nice to me. I see her most often when I visit.
I need to type with music or the television going so I can have 2 things happening to distract my mind from itself. I drank 2 cups of coffee earlier. Sometimes it has the opposite effect and calms me down. I had high anxiety earlier but now I am pretty relaxed. I used to drink a lot more coffee but most days I only drink 2 cups in the morning. Regular cups, not extra large. I would quit but I need something because I wake up before my meds wear off.
I’ve been reading posts about Dry July where you don’t drink alcohol for the month. I’ve been longer than a month but I still don’t find it as easy as they say it is. It probably doesn’t help that the 4th is in July. They do say not to be afraid of having treats. I already had ice cream the other day and last night I found 2 chocolate bars in the freezer I had forgotten about. I just ate now and I am thinking of what to eat next.
My anxiety kicks in as soon as I wake up. Sometimes it wakes me up. Not a welcome nudge into reality. Most mornings all I can do is keep my usual routine. A couple cups of coffee and make my lentils. (I know it’s a weird breakfast) I have to put on music before I do anything. Then I get on the computer for some distraction. After an hour or two I can usually face the day. This new blogging thing seems to help. Instead of passively reading I can activate my mind in the morning and other points in the day.
Nature vs. Nurture
This post was supposed to be about hereditary illness but I got distracted by my illness. I’ve been up for 2 hours now and I feel pretty good today. The person I am worried about inheriting illness is my daughter. Both her mom and I are diagnosed. I am schizo-affective and her mom has chronic depression. She is an excellent mom but she needs a lot of down time she spends it in bed away from the family. I don’t live with my daughter so I don’t pose a clear problem. I can usually pull it together for a 1 day visit.
Her mom and I are also both alcoholics. The studies say it is genetic but I’m not sure. I was taught to drink by other drinkers at a young age but does that mean I was born to drink? Maybe. I found out my father died of liver cancer from alcoholism. Her mom also fares better in the alcohol department. She keeps it under control. I’ve seen her buzzed but never really drunk. On the other hand, I have been sober for some time but I feel like even today I could break my streak and just get smashed.
So far my daughter is against drugs and alcohol. That is exactly how I was at her age but the next year I was out all night partying with my friends half the week. We are always keeping a close eye on her looking for signs of mental illness. She experiences some sudden downturns in mood but maybe it is just part of being 15. Who knows when someone is that young? I just don’t want my daughter living through some of the horrible things I have experienced. I worry for her a lot.
This was supposed to be a themed post but I got distracted and couldn’t formulate the ideas. That is why it turned into a journal post. Today is Saturday and I am going to post it tonight. It hasn’t been a full week but yesterday I finally got the impetus to write a real post for Sunday, so I broke my spell. I sometimes give up on long blog posts. I hope this one isn’t too long or boring. Let me know if you made it this far.
It happened again. Hours of being rigidly frozen. Not as bad as before but this time with the paranoia. Every sound in the hallway someone trying to break into my apartment. I know it’s not true but I can’t talk myself out of it.
I feel better after midnight. I always feel better after midnight. I feel like I’ve accomplished something; made it through another day. Maybe it’s the bens I took finally kicking in. I don’t know. It’s the main reason I stay up so late. I’m not overcome with fear like I am during the day. I can finally relax. I stay up forever.
It’s 1 am now. This is my first shot at a diary type post. I think it is a little long but I didn’t know what else to write all week. I have sticky notes on my desktop with title prompts to give me ideas but I couldn’t get started on any of them. Finally yesterday I got one down about quitting smoking. Now seems like as good a time as any to post. I’m just repeating myself. It’s still yesterday in my country but they are well into a new day on the other side of the world.