Purring Mania

This past Thanksgiving was an anniversary for one of my cats. One year prior, during Thanksgiving weekend, I purchased her during a manic shopping episode at Pets Mart.

My aunt and I had went to Pets Mart to buy cat litter, after having stayed up all night shopping the night before, and were just going to “visit” the adoptable cats. Next thing, I am filling out paperwork, have named the selected cat a special Swedish name, and have even ran to an ATM and back to ensure I had the cash for the adoption fee. At this point, insert the cat in to a box carrier and buy some kitty goodies, and I have a new manic purchase. It even purrs.

When we arrived home, my husband walked into the garage and heard the yowling while I was talking very fast to explain the situation. He just shook his head and said, “but, you took your meds!”

Now, one year later, we have a very well fed, chubby, and soft kitty named Mancha. (My mania bestowed Swedish name was changed.) And this past Thanksgiving reminded me of staying up for several days without sleeping, agitation, extreme excitement, sweating, racing thoughts that I could not catch, and my Mancha.

My husband was also right. I had taken my meds. In fact, we were having out of town visitors and I knew that staying routine on my medications was of utmost importance. But, the brain chemistry can override the medication. The medication is vital and helps, but anything can happen. Mancha is my furry and purring reminder of that fact. And, I think having her as a reminder is important… for a few reasons.

First, she reminds me that I do need to take my medication. While my brain may of overridden the medication in her case, I fear how many cats I would have with no medication. Ultimately, how would my impulses rule me? I am responsible for a little boy, so let’s not push that button.

Second, she is also a gentle reminder that sometimes things don’t go as planned. Yes, she was not intended to come home with me. And rationally, another pet should have been a family decision. But, she is a sweet reminder that when things go sideways, sometimes you just have to make the best. I can say she is a sweet fit in my family with a soft spot for my son.

So, happy anniversary, Mancha! Thank you for being my reminder. And thank you for the last year’s worth of purrs.

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For Him

Some days, I just tire of taking medications. I tire to my core.

Other days, I think I can manage my dosages, maybe skip a dose here or there, or just go raw.

Of course, not taking my cocktail of medications has drastic repercussions. And I have witnessed some of these repercussions in myself and in others.

One person whom I witnessed living with an untreated severe mental illness and who left massive repercussions in her wake was my mother. A woman who lived in paranoia, a manufactured reality, obsessive behaviors, narcissism, and mood swings, my childhood with my mother in her untreated state was Hell. She could not mother and she  was abusive. Her behavior was erratic and unpredictable. There was no trust, no connection, and a bond was never established.

I remember the confusion when she would report back lies about my behavior to my father (he also was untreated, but that is another story for another time). She was so certain in her reporting of falsehoods that doomed me to punishments. Now, I see it was part of her skewed mental chemistry left to its own devices. Also, she wouldn’t provide for me the basics, such as clothing, so my grandmother would buy me clothes for school or dresses for me to wear to church. I will never know her reasons, but she would either give away the clothing or take them to consignment stores for money. I was not allowed to keep to the clothing. Nothing was permanent- anything could be taken away. Add in her issues with Munchausen by Proxy, and my childhood became a shell. I counted down the years until I was eighteen.

Now, I am here nearing forty and I am a mother. A mother of an eighteen month old boy. An innocent little being who relies on me, trusts me, and is fully bonded with me. So, while I tire intensely from my medication cocktail; I push forward, not just for me, but for him as well. While I sometimes think I could alter my medications to gain a little more energy or handle things “better”; I don’t, for myself, and for him as well. I can be a true mother living with my illnesses, but I have to learn from the lessons I have witnessed.

So, for him I take care of me.