Chocolate Smiles

Alzheimer’s is strange. Honestly, if she has to have some debilitating sickness, I wish my mother could have been diagnosed with anything else. At least then there is a possibility of a cure or recovery. With this it is just a trudge to the end. And in the end, it takes everything from you.

My mother is, mentally, a child. Well, preteen. She gets excited for visits, loves cookies, and watches romantic comedies like they’re going out of style. Really, she’s me circa 13 years old. Back when I still had hope.

The childishness was never more prevalent than a couple weeks ago when the husband and I took a trip to see my cousin’s new born. The husband had made a batch of chocolate chip cookies and brought them to her, which she insisted bringing half with us on our road trip.

She left them sitting in the sun so they got gooey and the chocolate started to melt. This new state of cookie existence did not stop her. She chomped away happily.

I was not aware of this until she made a garbled statement from the backseat and I turned to see her with a chocolate grin and matching fingers.

The husband doesn’t believe in tissues or napkins in his car (“cause I’m an adult that doesn’t make messes”). So we had to make due with a handkerchief (previously owned and used by my grandmother) and a bag.

What this event taught me was I need to carry wet wipes whenever my mother is around. Maybe even a diaper bag for good measure.

The more upsetting aspect of this is that while my mother is mentally a child, she is also still an adult. And she still believes that regardless to the facts to the contrary. So I am left to walk this fine line between being a son and being a caretaker.

It sucks.

This week we finally see a doctor for the growing list of her maladies. And hopefully in it get the final letter I need to get power of attorney. There is no doubt I will achieve my goal, it just means a legal turning point in this whole saga.

Definition of Insanity

Let me preface this post by saying that I am crazy. As in a legit form of mentally unbalanced. I sometimes wonder if I am bipolar, however when I was tested for it many years ago I was diagnosed with depression instead. If that diagnosis was correct, that is something I still suffer from to this day. For all I know it could be my mental sorrow that is making me feel this way.

For the past six months I have been working the 12 steps of recovery (currently on 4) and doing some serious inner self-examination. I know what I have done has barely gotten into what really lies beneath my facade and I could definitely be doing more. Regardless of my level of dedication, what I have learned is still just as profound: I am a hurt little boy fearful of rejection and being discarded. 

In my process of breaking down past resentments I found a reoccurring theme of people “betraying” me or “ditching” me. As I wrote them out I honestly could have copied and pasted the same response to each of my mental inventories. 

What I find interesting is that even though I haven’t gotten to the part where I examine my part in all of this yet, already I subconsciously have been putting the pieces together and seeing that I may be the cause of my pain.  

I think I am guilty of playing games with people, friends, acquaintances, to test their loyalty. My tests are cruel and unnecessary, but because I had someone hurt me in the past, I have made a mandatory obstacle course each person in my life must run because I am fearful of being hurt again. So instead of just thinking it was that one person who was untrustworthy and moving on with my life I let myself believe all people are not to be trusted. 

In doing that I have inadvertently (or on purpose) made myself a perpetual victim. 

No one will ever live up to my standard of loyalty. Ever. I expect entirely too much and no one will ever reach the “Josh Standard of Friendship,” and to make matters worse I only hold these trials with those who don’t deserve it and in doing so ignore those who are able and willing to step up to my unnecessary challenges. 

What is even more peculiar is that I walk this strange line of wanting to have a deep connection with someone and wanting to isolate myself from everyone. It makes for chaotic thoughts that drive me insane and act out in damaging ways. 

Right now I want to pull away from all of my “friends.” I want to distance myself from everyone I know and I cannot explain why. That’s a lie… I am hurt because these weird games I play with people to test their “loyalty” fail and because of it I am hurt and want to run away. 

And yet I know these things and I don’t care. I want to cry. I want to scream. I want to start all over because nothing and no one will ever live up to this image I have in my head. I have these expectations on companionship that no one will ever fulfill. And try as I may to let them go I cannot. I cling to them like some sort of security blanket. Quite possibly because I want to remain the victim forever. I want people to feel sorry for me. I want someone to reach out to me and care for me because I DO NOT care for myself. I hate myself. And in the end I don’t trust myself… 

The desire to recoil into the shadows of my own misery is very strong but I have to fight them because I know I will expect people to come after me, comfort me, and give me the love I so desperately crave but they WILL NOT. Ultimately no one cares and they will chock up my manic actions to me just being crazy; and they will be right. 

Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results and that is what I am doing. Even though I KNOW I have to let go of these antiquated ideals of friendship I won’t. I downright refuse, thus proving that I am mentally unhinged. 

This is Basically Me Standing on a Corner With a Sandwich Board…

For all intents and purposes this is a venting post over the most ridiculous of topics.  I hear and comprehend how crazy I sound.  I do.  But I need to put them out into the universe so that they no longer exist in my head.  I mean, isn’t that what a blog is for?

For the past year I have been up Microsoft’s ass.  Pretty much since I invested in their stock.  I switched my ipad to a surface, I exclusively use bing (even though honestly I think Google is better.  Their maps especially.), and the past couple months I’ve been wanting to switch to a windows phone.  Needless to say I have been obsessed.

I finally got the chance to get a windows phone, the nokia 1520.  I have had it for the past week and I like it but I’m not certain that I want to keep the phone. I’m pretty comfortable with the iPhone and I’m pretty deep in their ecosystem.  So it’s a big deal if I switch.  The phone and software has a few things I love (answering texts while driving over my Bluetooth is aMAHzing.) but I’m not sure I want to switch.  So I have been fighting to make a decision.  Do I go with the windows phone since I’m all about Microsoft or stick with what I know and am comfortable with?

Not only have I been contemplating my switch, almost a year ago I switched exclusively to Bing search engine.  For my job I have to do a number of searches daily.  And when Bing offers you redeemable points for every search you do why wouldn’t I? Up until a couple days ago I had accrued almost 700 points.  I was going for a month free of xbox live.  I love my xbox but I rarely, if ever, use it and getting a month of live would honestly be kind of pointless.  So instead of redeeming them for that I thought I would sit on them and when they offered up a contest for a free nokia phone or surface I would enter.  Then enters the 4G Surface into the picture.

They have an option to redeem 40 points (35 if you have a gold account, which I DID) for 10 entries for a chance to win a surface.  So seeing as how I had 700 points (approximately 20 purchases, equating to 200 entries in the contest) I seized the opportunity.  The first day they went in fine.  The second… with a little hiccup at the end, but the third day… Well my points went down to zero.  My account was no longer linked with bing.  What the heck was going on?

I contacted customer service and inquired to the change.  And as it turns out my account was terminated for violating one of their terms of service.  I reviewed the 6 noted and the only one I could be accused of was having a “bot” enter me into the contest. 

A bot is program that runs on your computer clicking links over and over again.  How I know this is an option is because I have a friend, Aaron Ranney, (if anyone doubts me with the “friend” excuse) that does this precise thing and has explained to me and my other friends in length at our Wednesday night dungeion and dragons game. (yeah, I’m nerd.  I get it.)

I am furious, irrationally so, at my termination.  Not only did I lose my points and my chance at winning a surface (which in reality, who’s gonna fucking bot to win a surface.  Seriously, good try Microsoft.  But you’re late to the game) but I was accused of cheating.  I don’t cheat! I HATE cheating.  I don’t see the point and it destroys my image. 

Because of this whole debacle I made the decision to just go back to my iphone and to ditch my Microsoft stock.  I feel ridiculous now.  Fuck that company. 

By the Power of Meds I Command You, Begone Insanity!

I expect entirely too much out people. I know it. I’m owning it. But regardless of how self-aware I am about this character flaw it still doesn’t change anything. Basically at this point all I can do is just create a mantra of ‘it doesn’t matter.’ Although, no matter how many times I may or may not say it I won’t believe it. Especially now, as I have reached a peak I did not want to climb with my mood stabilizers.

I have arrived after three rounds of different brands of mood stabilizers that I really don’t need that type of medication. I guess I am just a strange human being that is, as my husband puts it, “easily excitable.” The first round made me super irritable and I hated people and life with a passion that made no sense. So we moved onto the next. That one made me apathetic and I cared nothing for anyone. Thus, we moved onto the third. This one, only halfway into the recommended dosage, I am irrationally cantankerous. I find myself getting angry about and over the slightest of things. To give you an idea of the breadth of my insanity: my friend invites another gay to lunch. My friend’s boyfriend (my self-professed blatant lover) plays OUR card game with someone else right in front of me. At the base of these tsunami of emotions I know, KNOW, that I am being irrational, but even with that understanding it does not dispel any of the emotions. And at the base of these thoughts, lies my high expectations from people.

After three trials, I have concluded that I just do not need them. Maybe I do in reality, but after these failed attempts it just doesn’t seem possible to quell my shifting moods. Instead, it seems to roil that constant storm even more than usual. So, I’ll pass on any further suggestions from my doctor; unless he offers anti-anxiety pills. Those I am all over.

So now instead of getting angry I can go back to burying my emotions and hurt deep down. And maybe then I can lower my expectations and not care. Because in an un-medicated state my brain is far more acceptable to suggestion. And maybe, JUST MAYBE, I can find peace in not caring.