Friday, July 21, 2006

What's going on

Okay. I just have to say it. I love you all. You have no idea how wonderful it is to read your comments the last few days. It has really made me feel better about things.

So. Here's what happened. Suz, ding, ding, ding! You hit the nail right on the head when you mentioned being in a manic state. Apparently I was. Of course, I have no clue that it is happening and just bop along, completely getting myself into a fine mess.

The fine mess is that I, for the past 8 weeks, was visiting the casino. I would talk Keem into going, we would head out there and then I would systematically lose money. And then I would withdraw more money from my account and lose that. So now I am somewhat in the hole. Well, a lot in the hole. I think I managed to lose about $800 or so. Actually, it's more than that. I was talking to Beth last night about how I made a couple of transactions. She looked at me and said "You do realize that you lost $500, right?" And I stared back at her in horror and said "OH MY GOD! $500? That's crazy! What was I thinking?"

I should mention that none of the blame should be put on Keem. My sister thought she was enabling me but Keem really had no idea how much money I was withdrawing. She thought it was just $40 or $60, small amounts. Not $200 or $300 at a pop.

It is amazing how I can rationalize behavior. I would look for signs everywhere. I saw the number 777 so that meant I was going to win big. A butterfly flew over the car so obviously I would have good luck.

Now, of course, I look back and all I can say to myself is "What were you thinking?!!!?" The only answer I can come up with is that I wasn't. I became so caught up in the moment, the flashing lights, the bells ringing, the cheers of the crowd around me. My focus became so narrow that all I could concentrate on was what was right in front of me.

One night, I won over $200 on a penny slot machine. I kept playing and lost it all. The rational thing would have been to stop right then and there but I didn't.

I would make deals with the machine I was playing. If I won so many times in a row, I would increase my bet. I would try to predict what would happen. I would find machines based on their graphics. Oh, look, it's a frog. Obviously I'll win. Yeah. Right. A couple of times I would see a machine that had a dancing penguin. Beth likes penguins. Beth is my friend. The penguin will bring me luck.

I am seriously surprised that I didn't wear all black and cover myself in mystic sigils and throw a few shamrocks into my hair.

It is so odd looking back at these last eight weeks. This person that I became, she's not me. It is not like me to become so irrational. I feel like I woke up from a bad dream. And fell into a worse dream because, of course, now I have to deal with the consequences of my actions.

Obviously, like all good tales, the heroine should have a learning experience. And here is what I learned:

  1. I have some pretty awesome friends and family members who left comments that made me cry but in a good way.
  2. I am not worthless and I shouldn't listen to that stupid bitch part of myself that likes to run me down.
  3. Suicide is not the answer and all it would do is make Kari's life hell while she tries to deal with the fact that her sister was a big coward who screwed up and couldn't deal with it.
  4. I am not alone. There are other people who deal with being bi-polar and having manic and depression stages all the time. There are also people that have to deal with financial situations that are worse than mine.
  5. Skipping my pills, even for a week, is NOT a good idea. While I was taking my pills during this time, it wasn't until after I ran out that I started having the suicidal thoughts.
  6. Kari, as usual, was right. I probably do need to be on a stronger prescription of Effexor. Or, like Suz suggested, see if there is something that will help control the manic stage.
  7. I need to look into counseling. Obviously something triggered this and I need to find out what it was. I don't normally have manic stages and, when I do, they never last this long.
  8. A budget will not kill me. It will make me stronger.
  9. No matter how much I care for James, there is no way that I am ready for any type of serious relationship. I need to back off and re-evaluate my life and my goals before I can even think about being with someone. However, if he wanted to make out a lot while I'm doing this soul searching, I would be okay with that.
  10. I should never lie to my friends and family. Honesty is the best policy.

Thanks for listening (or reading, I should say) and thank you for all of your well wishes and comments. I really appreciate them.