Saturday, March 5, 2011

Charlie Sheen is "Bi-Winning"

I have to admit, I'm not on the same side of the fence as many others on this latest issue.  Charlie Sheen is being thought of as hilarious at this point, with his recent tirades and antics.  I'm not a doctor in the least, but I know quite a bit about the topic I want to touch on in this post, and I will explain why at the end.

In my opinion, Charlie Sheen is definitely Bipolar.  Yes, he most certainly has used drugs, and could very well still be using drugs, but I don't think that explains his behavior.  Despite his denying that he is, Bipolar disorder can be triggered at any time in a person's life by traumatic events, or in this case especially, drugs.  The disorder can lay dormant for many years and be brought on in a few different ways.

I'm sure you might also be thinking, well he had a good point in saying if he was Bipolar, wouldn't he have crashing lows as well?  That is true, but if the Bipolar is a recent onset, he most likely has just not experienced the low yet.  And unless he is a Rapid Cycler (periods of mania and depression occur more than 4 times in a year), he may not see a depressive crash for a while.  In fact, he will most likely "level off" before experiencing the low, causing himself and others to assume the storm has passed.

To watch some of his ABC interview, go here or here.

So to get right into my point, here are the symptoms of a manic phase in Bipolar disorder:

Feeling on top of the world
"I exposed people to magic.  I gave them something they were never going to see in their otherwise boring, normal lives.  I gave that to them, that's a gift."

Inappropriate elevated mood
He claims to be "remaining calm", but he carries himself no differently once his two sons were taken away, taking time to do an interview instead of tracking them down, after stating that he has no idea where they are.

At one point during his ABC interview, he starts playing with a red wire, and although obviously just wanting to avoid the issue at hand, has a moment where he looks like he loses his train of thought.

He claims it's not anger, it's passion.

He admits to being proud of his past drug use and partying, despite the obvious stigma.

Overly-inflated self-esteem
"I'm a nobleman, I'm chivalrous."  "I've been this 'aw-shucks' guy with this BITCHIN' rock star life..."

When asked how he can survive such a large amount of drug usage:  "Because I'm just me.  I have a different constitution.  I have a different brain, a different heart.  I have tiger blood."

Unrealistic ideas
"I blinked and I cured my brain."

Hypersexuality (increased sex drive)
I think this one is pretty self-explanatory, given his party and house guests.

Decreased need for sleep
I'm not sure if he has mentioned anything in the way of this symptom, but I certainly imagine it to be true.

Excessive talkativeness
"I am on a drug, it's called 'Charlie Sheen'.  It's not available because if you try it once you will die.  Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body.  Too much?"

Talking very fast
Very apparent.

Racing thoughts
He admits that his brain "fires in a way that is not of this terrestrial realm" and that no one else would be able to handle it.

Increased goal-directed activity
He has a goal of creating a "porn house" from what I have heard.  Sounds productive.  Not as productive as his goal to sue the show:  "Tons.  They're gunna put it on a scale and I'm just gunna be like 'little more, little more, ah add some gold add some gold, BINGO'.  I'm here to collect."

Excessive shopping/Spending sprees
Do suitcases full of coke and hookers count?

Physical agitation
This doesn't necessarily mean violence, but "I'm finally going to completely embrace it, just wrap both my arms around it and love it violently.  And defend it violently, through violent hatred."  And when asked if he is violent: "When it's needed to protect my family, absolutely.  And it's unlike anything you'll ever see."

Reckless behavior
His drug use, past and/or present would certainly fall into this category.  His partying and sexual behavior.

Mental confusion
"Can't is the cancer of happen."  And every other quote you can find here.

Take what you will from my examples, but even if you have only watched one interview with him, a considerable number of these symptoms are blatantly obvious.

If you have managed to read this far, you are probably wondering why I would bother making such a list, or just wonder why I feel strongly about this issue.  My mother is Bipolar.  I have witnessed her go through very similar situations, although thankfully not to this extreme.  I have seen her at her highest, and found her passed out after her lowest.  It was a very traumatic time in my life.  She is doing quite well now, the doctors have found the best combination of medications for her to take to keep her level.  And you might be wondering what any of this has to do with being pregnant, after all, I started this blog to be about my pregnancy.  Well Bipolar disorder has a tendency to skip generations.  That means, since I seem to be fine, our daughter has a higher chance of having it.  And not only that, it could manifest as schizophrenia instead, as it is linked to Bipolar.  It's not something I want to be worried about her whole life, especially since schizophrenia is most often triggered later in life by a traumatic event.  But I have heard stories about schizophrenic children, and it is so heartbreaking to me.

But one of the problems with Bipolar disorder is that it can take many combinations before the right one is found.  And during that time, if someone experiences the mania, they generally feel so good that they think they don't need their medications anymore.  Just like Charlie Sheen asks what would happen if he was Bipolar, and says "no thanks" to the thought of medications.  So many Bipolar sufferers go off their medications when they are in a mania, and it just leads to not only withdrawal, but more severe cycling.  Higher highs, and lower lows.

Managing Bipolar disorder doesn't only mean drugs, there has to be education and counselling as well.  The sufferer has to be made aware that despite feeling good, they still need to stay on their medications for their own safety.  I have a feeling that if Charlie Sheen stays on the path he is on, his father may have to "Britney" him, and basically have him committed for his own safety.  Which would hopefully lead to the successful diagnosis and treatment of whatever actually ails him, Bipolar or not.

Bipolar symptom list taken from

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Dear; Roommate

It's early in the morning, and you and your girlfriend rise.  It is not the sound of you puttering around that wakes me, it's the incessant clicking sound the bowl of your bucket apparatus makes as you tap it on the side of your glass ashtray to clean it out in preparation for a new day.  Then comes the hacking.  The kind of coughing only winners make as they start their day.

As you both leave the house, you are sure to slam the door hard.  I suggest you try harder, especially when we are sleeping.  You aren't leaving the house with any specific purpose.  You drive your girlfriend to work in her car, only to bring the car home and sit in your room all day.  Why do you need the car?  You don't go anywhere.  You could be out looking for a job, or an apartment, or even just visiting friends to avoid sitting on your bed until the sun goes down.  But there you sit, constantly smoking weed and Skyping with other girls.  Does your girlfriend of 4 years know you do this?  Highly unlikely.  She is at work, like normal people, making a living so you can sit around and do nothing.

You generally head into the kitchen to make yourself a tea.  You use a brand new mug, not the one you used only once previously.  When you are done that tea, you make another one, with another new mug, leaving all the mugs on the counter for someone else to wash.  Despite my wonderful husband taking hours to wash all the dishes in the house the night before, come the end of the day, every single dish is once again dirty, untouched by anyone from your party.  The garbage overflows, because clearly your mother never showed you how to change the bag.  It's not your fault.

We work 12 hours a day, but we come home and are the ones to clean everything.  Our coffee table is littered with garbage.  And although we are very much guilty of some of the mess, you are just as well.  But don't trouble yourself!  Leave it there, and we will take care of it.  After all, you are more like a guest than a rent paying roommate.  You AND your girlfriend, who was not part of the deal and has a home to go back to, but insists on being here more than half the time.  But I digress.

When we are home, you are always around.  Most days we just want to relax and enjoy each other's company when we get home from that 12 hour shift.  But you and your girlfriend insist on sitting on that other couch right beside us and being loud.  She making stupid and annoying comments at the TV, shrieking at anything scary or laughing far louder than necessary.  You talking non stop about music, video games, or conspiracy theories.  After a couples hours of this, I'm ready to give up on life.  We had to take to hiding in our room for a while, until you seemingly got the point.  You don't come around much anymore, you hibernate in your room.  Only to come out and turn the oven on high when it's not even cold in here and make more tea and use more mugs.

I suppose you aren't a complete slacker.  You have big dreams, big ambitions.  But your pesky laziness is holding you back.  It should be a disability, shouldn't it?  That way, you could collect a cheque every month, just like you are now from Welfare, only it would be considered a little less shameful.  You applied to school, and miraculously got accepted.  But of course, you are banking on the government paying for all of it.  I try to act excited for you, and a little hopeful.  But we all know that even if all these plans work out, and if you actually finish the whole course and graduate, you will soon realize you either can't find a job in that industry, or you will remember that you hate working.

You have chosen to go to school for something music production related.  That's cool, it's what you enjoy.  Bust your options are highly limited.  You know that.  You may finish school and then just go back to sitting on your ass, waiting for someone to hand you a job.  You are going to wait a very very long time.  All that education will go to waste.  And let's just say for the sake of imagination that you are handed a job, it won't last long.  You will have to get up early, every day no doubt, and unless it's on your terms that just doesn't work for you.

I could go on, I feel like I have hours of complaints.  But I keep going back to one thought:


I have no idea where you are going to go.  You have not looked for an apartment, but I don't care.  You were given 2 months notice to get your shit together, and every other human on the planet can do so in that time.  You will have to find someone else's couch to live on, and somewhere else to store your shit.  That room belongs to the baby now, and it's time to GTFO so we can decorate.  If you aren't gone on the 1st, your stuff will be on the patio on the 2nd.  

I don't care where you go, just go.

Dear; "Friend"

You have offered to put on my baby shower.  That's a wonderful offer, and I appreciate it.  But lets go over why this can never happen.

First of all, we do work together.  Yet you hardly ever talk to me in the work place.  Granted, we don't work on the same line, but our lockers are in the same row, and some days you don't even acknowledge my presence.  When we do talk, it's hardly ever more than mindless small talk, like any other co-workers would engage in.

Secondly, you rarely, if ever, text me or message me outside of work.  I can't even remember the last time we hung out in a group, let alone together.  Oh that's right, you used me for a ride to IKEA.  You bought me lunch, yes, and that was nice, but how about inviting me over?  Nope.  You always say "we should get together soon", but our interaction never goes beyond that.  Hell, you don't even comment on anything of mine on Facebook.

Yes, it's true that at one time you and I were very good, very close friends.  Dare I even say you were my best friend.  In fact, you are the reason my husband and I are together now and having a baby.  But you were always the centre of drama, and when I grew tired of that, it came to my attention that you have been talking shit about me behind my back.  That's when I cut ties with you for good.  But about a year later, I started working with you, and although I tried at first, things have never been able to go back to the way they were.  You always elude that you want to go back to that time, but never make the effort.  I gave up a long time ago.  I just appreciate the fact that we can be civil and even friendly, but I won't waste my energy chasing you.

In the end, the only reason why you want to take charge of my baby shower is because you have always been the "event planner".  You want your name to be associated with any event or gathering, you want to be the one who makes that Facebook event page.  Yes, a baby shower is supposed to be about the mother, but it's still a party, so why can't you get all the credit, right?  I mean, the shower would still be held at my house, which I would have to clean by myself (since you didn't end up helping me before the surprise birthday party for your boyfriend that we had here in the summer), and I would be the one spending the money on food and drinks and whatever else is typical of a baby shower.  But you would get the credit, and that's all that matters.

So I spent the last couple weeks trying to think of a nice way to let you know "thanks but no thanks", and I couldn't come up with anything because sometimes I can be just too nice. I don't want to offend anyone.  But today, you made it very clear that you haven't changed a bit, when it was discovered that you were now making fun of my husband.  A person whom you have known for more than 10 years, much much longer than me.  It was not kosher.  He was far more upset by it than I was, I suppose I was just unsurprised.  But it gave me the incentive to finally tell you that I don't want you planning my shower.  And how do you react?  Like this:

(Actual MSN conversation)

Alysha says
don't worry about the baby shower, i don't need you to set it up.

"Friend" says
Oh ok
Lemme guess, to awkward for me to do something nice for you?

Alysha says
well basically.  in all honesty, we aren't exactly friends anymore... we're acquaintances at best... it just doesn't make sense for you to do it.  i do very much appreciate the offer, but i don't want you to do it.

"Friend" says
Wow, ok cool .... Have a good life ......   ;)  good to know my "friend" doesn't consider me a friend .......
("Friend" goes offline)

I don't even know how to react to that.  It just oozes with grace and maturity.  I'm sorry I took away the opportunity for you to be in the spotlight.  I'm sorry I was being honest.  I'm sorry you are in denial about exactly what kind of relationship we have.

But honestly, I'm not sorry at all.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It's a Girl! But What Shall we Name her?

Well I had my second ultrasound this morning, bright and early.  It was amazing.  And all this time, I had been convinced I was having a boy, but I was wrong!  A baby girl.  I'm so excited I barely have words, but that wouldn't make for an interesting blog post, now would it?

We both had a bad sleep last night, I think me more so than David.  I only managed to get a couple hours, and when I did sleep, I had a terrifying nightmare.  I think I was anxious about the ultrasound.  When my alarm went off at 8am, I wanted to kill, but I was still excited.

We headed out early so we could get some coffee in us, for stimulant purposes, but also because I had been told by a few people to have some to make the baby more active, thus making it easier to get a good angle to see the gender.  We got to the office kind of early but they took me in almost right away.  It was nice to have an empty bladder for this one, as the first one at 15 weeks requires a painfully full one.  And having the tech pressing on it with an ultrasound wand is uncomfortable.

I was in there by myself for the majority, as the tech moved to and fro, taking measurements.  Every time she got over to my left side, I could feel the baby kick at the ultrasound wand, pushing into her precious space.  I was just laying back and enjoying that, since I haven't felt her move too much yet.  Mostly just light flutters.  After some time the tech informed me that part of the procedure had to be done from the inside.  No one warned me about that!  My one friend told me about how her whole ultrasound had to be done that way since she unfortunately has too much fat around her belly for the normal one.  But I didn't know it happened for everyone.  The tech showed me the wand that was to be inserted, and it certainly wasn't intimidating.  But when she slipped a condom on it... I didn't know whether to laugh, or worry that I was about to be raped.  Thankfully, that part of the procedure only lasted less than a minute, and was used to measure my cervix.

Then she went and got David and went back to the normal ultrasound, and it was our chance to see the baby.  It was so much more detailed than the first one, and of course I teared up again.  David did too.  You could see her little spine, rib cage, heart beating.  And then her facial features, little hand at her mouth, and her tiny feet.  It's just incredible, and makes the whole thing feel much more real.  The tech asked once more if we were both in agreeing to knowing the gender, and told us it looked very much like a girl.  My little outburst of "What? Really?!" was louder than I had intended, and I started to cry.  I didn't think I had a preference, and was quite sure I was having a boy, and I was shocked to hear that wasn't the case.  I was thrilled, and David seemed to be beaming.

He told me on the drive home that in a way he was hoping for a girl, for many reasons.  I agree with him that it is hard for us to pick a boys name that we both like.  I had always liked the name David growing up, but neither of us want a Jr.  Although neither of us had ever been pressured to do so, it still kind of felt like we should have a father-figure's name in our male child's.  So far, the only boy name I liked was that of my grandfather's, Jack.  David was unsure about that one at first, but it had grown on him.  His father's first and middle names are old fashioned and neither of us want them.  But there never seemed to be a boy name out there that really spoke to us.  But girl's names on the other hand... there are so many cute ones.

For most of our relationship we had agreed we both liked the name Sophia.  But on that drive home today, he told me he wasn't sure about using it for her first name since it was a name one of his ex-girlfriends and him always talked about!  I was shocked at this sudden turn of events.  I suddenly felt weird about the name, and although I know this ex, and like her very much, I had no idea they were talking about having kids and he never mentioned that story when he suggested the name Sophia to me years ago.   It was a total game changer.  So I said we could maybe use it as a middle name, but I will certainly be looking for alternatives.  Otherwise, he told me about the name Adeline.  He had never mentioned it before, but I really like it.  Despite that, I don't want to write her name in stone just yet, there are so many nice girl names out there, and I would like to shop around for a bit.  But it is definitely on the list.

I also had another monthly prenatal appointment today, where we learned that our IPS test results came back negative for Down Syndrome or any other abnormalities, phew!  It was lovely to hear that.  Also, the baby is developing perfectly and on track, has a perfect heartbeat and measurements.  I'm also gaining weight normally, not too much and not too little, which I find surprising since I feel like I'm eating like a cow.  And my stomach is growing normally.  I couldn't believe all the good news.  I felt like there HAD to be a "but" in there.  After all, I'm ashamed to admit, I am still smoking.  That's a whole other story before you attack me.  I'm not proud of it.  But obviously, things are going very very well for the baby and I right now, and David and I are super excited and relieved.

I can't wait to start buying tiny dresses!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year; New Bumps

Well Happy New Year to anyone who may be reading.  I hope your festivities this season were what you hoped for.  Mine pretty much were.

I'm not very big on Christmas, and that there is probably the only time you will see me spell "Christmas" rather than use Xmas.  I have nothing against the religion behind the holiday, I'm just lazy.  That's also why every year, without fail, I leave the Xmas shopping until the very last minute.  I always regret it, I'm not a fan of crowded places.  But I just can't help procrastinating.  Plus, the closer you shop to the actual holiday, the easier the gift ideas become.  Every year it gets harder and harder to buy for people I've known for years, and when I can find a nice gift basket or flower/plant arrangement, my holiday is made.  I suppose most would find it impersonal, but it's no more impersonal than giving someone a gift card, which I gratefully accept from anyone.  I find gift cards to be very useful, because I always need to buy stuff, or spend money, and this way I won't be spending my own.

We just got back from visiting my grandpa out of town.  His gift to us was a $100 gift card for a variety of restaurants.  It's awesome!  David and I eat out all the damn time (to our financial detriment), and this card will come in handy.  Now we can do something nice for his birthday/Valentine's day.  I got him an assortment of scratch cards.  Seems easy, but he is an old man and he was thrilled.  He is also alone and on oxygen, so it provides meager entertainment for him.

As much as I love my Pops, it's hard to visit him lately.  He is only in his early 70's, but he has gotten quite sick over the last couple years and it's hard to see.  I don't want to think about him dying, since I was so close to him growing up.  It will be as crushing as when my Gramma passed.  Also, his recent partner, Joan just passed away a couple months ago, leaving him alone in her house, with only her family around.  It's sad to think about, he seems really lonely.  But it looks like he is thinking about moving "back home" to where my mom is, and they can take care of each other.

But we had a nice time visiting him, even though my mom cut it off short.  He took us all out to dinner, and we had a good time, but we left right after.  I felt bad about eating and leaving, but since my mom spent all day with him the other day, I guess she didn't want to stay long.  Plus her precious dog was home alone, and we can't have that!

To switch it around without a good segue, we went to that house party for New Year's Eve.  It was OK.  I baked cookies all day for it, and once everyone was drunk enough, they went fast.  I got a lot of compliments, which is always nice.  I love baking, it is the one thing I do right.  I can't cook to save my life.  That's the reason why I gained so much weight since being with David, he used to be a chef!  But I have always enjoyed baking, and cookies are my specialty.  But now that David bought me a fancy-ass KitchenAid mixer (normally $300-$400, $188 at Wal-Mart) for Xmas, I am determined to broaden my baking horizons.  This house will be chock full of sugary sweets, which will be awesome for David the diabetic.  But I digress.

The first thing I saw when I walked into the party (besides the chicken wing deep fry-fest happening in the shed) was delicious looking brownies.  I made a mental note to have me one before they were gone.  But the first thing my friend tells me when I sit down next to her is that they are special.  Damn.  Under any other circumstances I would still have had one, but I'm sure you are aware of what an umbilical cord does.  So I made sure David was also aware of the brownie state, as he had a bad experience at a weekend camping party a couples years ago from just a few bites of a special brownie.

The rest of the party went so-so.  I had a couple glasses of watered down wine (wine + club soda = more drinks throughout the night), since I am able to have one normal glass.  Being sober in a house full of drunk and/or high people is never fun for me.  I am definitely a social drinker, I do admit I like to get wobbly, but I am OK with myself if I'm not getting drunk.  All in all I didn't have a bad time, but I know I would have had more fun if I was able to get my drink on.  We all did the countdown along with the NY ball drop, and had a good time with that.  David got his drink on for reals, and was sick by the time we left at 1:30am.  I had to pull over on the way home so he could puke down the side of our brand new car.  My motherly instinct wasn't there yet, but I wasn't mad.  He is an adult, and he is allowed to have a good time.  I did however make sure he had water and a bucket when he went to bed, but he was fine by that point.  I'm a good girlfriend.

So the next day he used a water bottle and some puddle water to wash the remaining yuckies of the passenger side door.  Luckily it had rained most of the night so it was mostly taken care of.  I was concerned about it since I mentioned it's a new car (to us) and I want to take care of this one.  Our last car, a Jeep Liberty, was pretty run down by the time we crashed it and it got written off.  We are not very good car owners.  The accident was what I was referring to in my previous post, about talking more about some of the other bumps we face in our money-whoring life.

It happened in mid-November, when I was around 15 weeks pregnant.  We had just left work and were no more than a block away.  It was raining, and David wasn't paying attention, and we rear-ended another SUV at full speed.  That SUV hit the car in front of that.  It was nasty.  The other two cars didn't get much damage, but our front end was a mess.  And the impact caused our passenger sitting in the middle in the back seat to fly forward, into the front seat.  I got snagged on the seatbelt pretty badly, right at my gut, and also leaving bruises on my chest.  About 5 minutes after the impact, I started having pains in my lower abdomen.  I had been crying quite badly, and everyone else was standing outside in the rain, waiting for the police.  When I told David I was having pains, he got really freaked out and called for an ambulance.

So I had my first ever ride in an ambulance, and went to the hospital by myself while David stayed at the accident.  I wasn't bleeding so that was a good sign.  The Jeep was obviously not drivable, and had to be towed.  So David came to the hospital a couple hours later, where I was still waiting for a bed.  We waited a total of 5 hours in the hospital, slowly being upgraded to another waiting room, then a bed, where I fell asleep for an hour.  When I woke up, the pain was gone and I hadn't been seen by a doctor yet.  I figured that since I wasn't bleeding, and no one had seen me, it was obviously not urgent, so I signed myself out.  We skipped work the next day to rest.

The guy we hit was a co-worker whom David knew and was friendly with.  He kept in touch with us as he took two weeks off, complaining of neck pains.  His emails were friendly, but had an undertone that we were leery of.  We thought he might try to sue us, the way he was talking.  So when he asked how the the baby and I were doing, I told David to tell him it was still touch-and-go, so that he might feel bad and not think about legal action.  So far so good.  He is back to work and asks how I am when I run into him.  The last guy involved in the accident apparently didn't have insurance, so we have no idea what happened to him.  He barely had a dent in his car.

So I had gotten myself depressed at the thought of taking the bus all winter long, especially in the later months when I would be the size of a house.  But David went to work, not only on the insurance clear up, but on looking for a new car.  We found a new place who guaranteed financing, and approved us for a 2007 Dodge Caliber.  We had rented a Caliber before we got the Jeep and really loved it.  So it was something we always looked for.  It was out of our price range back when we ended up with the Jeep (which I loved and miss dearly), but this time, a used one was priced just right.  And the dealer also got our financing through the same bank we had the Jeep, except they lowered our interest rate by 12%!  So our car payments went down, and things worked out for the best.  We love our new car, which is in much better condition than the Jeep, and we intend on taking better care of it.  Especially since it has to last us 6 years until we are done paying for it (eek).

So needless to say, Xmas was a bit of a wash up, when money became so tight after the accident and down payment on the new car.  But luckily, we never have many people to buy for, and those that we do understood the situation we were in.  It was just another situation that really screws things up for us.  We are not good at saving, and more often than we'd like, shit goes wrong and leaves us in a tight situation.  More times than I can count, we would bring the Jeep in for a simple fix, and leave having spent a grand on other things that were extremely important and broken.  Like when we brought it in for an oil change, and they showed us our belt that was shredded into three strips...

...Right before we were going 4 hours out of town.