Middle age

A year or two ago, I bought my first pair of reading glasses from the drug store rack. They’re not very strong, but I needed them. I’ve worn contacts for decades and glasses before that, so this was just another step in general aging. I couldn’t see the print on the page with my contacts in.

I don’t wear my glasses much since I wear contacts. I only wear the glasses early in the morning or late at night. Still, when I want to read a book in bed, it’s a problem. With just the single-vision glasses, I couldn’t read.

My optometrist called me a week or two ago and reminded me that it had been 4 years since my last eye exam. I took the opportunity and made an appointment. The result was as expected: I needed bifocals.

As of today, I am the proud owner of a beautiful pair of bifocals. I came home from the optician’s shop and took out my contacts to put on my new glasses. The results are wonderful. I made a salad for dinner, and I could see it as I ate it. Astounding.

It’s a small thing, but I did all this on my own without help from my caseworker or anybody else. I did it.

I realize this signals I’m right at the cusp of middle age, but I’m still glad I was able to take care of it for myself.

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Whee!

I’m a little bit manic. How are you? Fine, you say. Good. I’m glad to hear it. I’m going to win the lottery today. Yes, I am. I’ll start by buying a house with enormous closets to fill with beautiful clothes. I think I’ll eat another cinnamon roll. Ooo! I’ll go to the French bakery in town and buy their fresh croissants. I’ll eat those smeared with real butter and the most expensive strawberry jam I can find in town. It’s time to drive to the top of a mountain and do a dance. I’ll bring down the rain. Yes, I’ll do a rain dance, and then I’ll take off my clothes and dance in the rain. I’ll race down the mountain burning up my brakes and buy a new Audi when I get to the bottom. Purple. I’ll paint the walls purple with a green stripe about 3 or 4 feet up from the floor, and if paint drips on the carpet, well, never mind, it’s just a rental and the clouds in the sky are telling me stories about Native Americans of long ago and their secrets are whispering in my ears just below the point of hearing, while I pace around my little house and watch the trees outside swaying with the wind, and my curtains blow with the wind, and the mailman will be here soon with my invitation to the White House dinner all because of my birthday; then there’s ice cream to eat, and pots of boiling water to prepare for the spaghetti dinner that I’ve forgotten to invite anyone to and the table will be set just right, move the pumpkin now, but be careful, we’ll carve it into a jack-o-lantern soon and set it out to frighten away the ghouls and ghosts. Spell check is the best invention ever. There.

Yes.

There.

That’s my manic mind. That’s today.

It’s time for a pill and sleep and then a call to the psychiatrist and then a therapy session with the psychologist.

It’s also time for a good cry. If only I could. I wish I could.

Hold me.

Manic Spending

I just moved house. I moved from a one bedroom, dark, depressing apartment in a loud neighborhood to a charming two bedroom cottage that is light and airy on a quiet cul-de-sac. The old place never felt like home even though I lived there over two years.

The neighbors were constantly fighting, and I had to call the police on two separate occasions to report suspected child abuse. The last night I slept there, the police came to deal with a violently drunk man, and the firemen came to put out a kitchen fire. Needless to say, I don’t miss anything about the place.

In preparing for the move, I carefully measured the rooms of the new house to plan on how to best arrange the furniture. I spent hours imagining how I was going to hang my pictures on the walls. I fantasized about the peaceful nights and having friends come over for coffee and games and what-not.

In my preparations as well, I went shopping. Everyone knows that when you move you wipe out the kitchen cabinets and put down clean paper. So I bought shelf paper.

The carpet in the house is worn, and I wished to cover the worst parts. Rugs! In the entry. In the hall. In the living room. In my bedroom. I had to have rugs. Did I settle for the ones I found at the bargain store. Of course not. I went to all the furniture stores in town and found one at half price that was still double the discount store price.

Walking through an antique store, I found a really cool modern sculpture made of leucite. I immediately thought it would look lovely in my entry sitting below a painting my sister did for me years ago. It was only $75. Out came the credit card and up went my debt.

What haven’t I bought? New clothes for me. Oh, that’s not completely true. I bought a new hat, and I have my eye on a nice shirt that’s for sale on eBay.

I have a problem spending. I spend splendidly.

Shopping sprees are a symptom of bipolar disorder, and I remember vividly going to the store once for a new decorative cushion for the couch and coming home with over a dozen. I had gone with the intention of buying one, and I came home with bags and bags of pretty pillows.

I wish I could write that I have coping mechanisms for this behavior, but I honestly don’t. I buy things, and then I return them. I talk about it with my therapist. I sit on my hands when I look at items on eBay. I avoid the used book stores and instead haunt the library. Basically, I hold on to something solid when I think I need to spend.

I would not make a good rich person. I would simply spend all the money.