That Week I Almost Met Jim Beam

It has been an emotionally draining week for me. I stand by that I think parenting isn’t hard. But it is damn exhausting sometimes. With AmoebaJr not being able to communicate but be old enough to have not only needs but now also wants and opinions, it’s becoming increasingly frustrating. Have you heard of the website that posts pictures of kids crying with an explanation of what made the kid cry? It would be something like a kid crying in front of a birthday cake because they wanted purple frosting instead of yellow; or something equally benign.

Let’s talk about AmoebaJr. Walks to the fridge, holds her arms up indicating she wants to get in. I say “do you want some water?” and she replies “yeah.” Because that’s essentially the only word she says. I grab the water and attempt to hand it to her. She vigorously shakes her head back and forth and creates a noise at a pitch which I’m not entirely sure doesn’t permanently damage my hearing more and more each time.

Well, fuck me! I’m such a bad parent. I deserve to be removed from my limbs.

This happens probably a dozen times a day with various things. And I’m ready to dig out my ear drums with a milkshake spoon.

Our adoption thing is going nowhere. And it’s going there so slow, I could run past it. It was supposed to be like a 2 week thing. And a supervisor was going to be out, so really it should have been pushed back no more than end of September. It’s mid-October and I’ve gotten more answers from a Magic 8 Ball. We’ve even been spoken to regarding a possible placement already, but we can’t get enough info to make a decision until we have our license.

Then there’s all this bullshit sexual crap going on in my “other” circle. So I try to hang out with moms, but I’m not really accepted. (No dad has reached out, but that’s another story.) Even among local bloggers (you’d be surprised how many people blog from Indy), I can’t get noticed.

I try to hang out with other mental health bloggers, but they have real problems. Not this bullshit that’s decently controlled by my meds. And nothing I can really help them with.

I also align with the science communicators online. These are scientists, journalists, or enthusiasts that blog, tweet, or otherwise post science-y things online. I don’t have a graduate degree, I’m not published anywhere, and I haven’t been able to fit in there either.

I have, though, met some genuine people in all 3 circles. I see a lot of people that have connected on social media in a way I never will, so I don’t know that they’d call me friends, but I have met some wonderful people.

Well, it’s that science circle where the shit has hit the fan over the past week. Someone came forward with a detailed account (not merely an accusation) of sexual harassment from a person that is extremely well-known, loved, and respected in this community of science communicators. And then another. And then another. So we now have 3 women on record with their name detailing the inappropriate behaviors. How do we respect the victims but not let someone that has made great impact into so many lives feel like he has no shot at redemption? It was much harder when their was only one. Now the pattern is emerging. As my friend said, “no one does this to just one person.”

I privately contacted two of the women, because they are in my circle (the original one, I do not know). I just told them that what happened was horrible and that sharing their story was the right thing to do. I thanked them for sticking their neck out so this wouldn’t happen to more women. I received a response from one of the two thanking me for the support. There’s just too many feels. I realize I have a big heart, but I’m amazed at some of the callousness some men in the circle have shown.

About a month ago, a local mother who blogs (virtually the only one that interacts with me) unexpectedly lost her infant. I can’t imagine that hurt. But she has 2 other kids she has to hold it together for. I haven’t met this person, but I’ve never seen anything to suggest that she’s anything but an A-1 class act person. We discussed a play date before this tragedy. Needless to say, that’s on hold. So yeah, I haven’t met her, but she’s about as close to a friend as I’ve made online in my 4 years on Twitter and off and on of blogging. I just want to reach out to her. But I can’t help her. What the hell can any of us do? A few weeks after she lost her daughter I sent her a Facebook message and told her I saw the outpouring of support and didn’t want to get in the way of her connection with friends. I offered to help, but I like I said, “whoopity doo.” Unless I can invent a freaking time machine, there’s nothing I can do. On top of that, she was at an outdoor activity with her kids when some father of the year reject made a passive-aggressive judgement, publicly, on her parenting skills. Obviously she was crushed. I just reached out and told her she’s a good mom. Hopefully affirmation helps. If there’s nothing else I can do, I can always have nice words for people that need them.

And while this was unfolding, I started on a new medicine. I’ve recently been experiencing high blood pressure and despite the fact that I am on a blood pressure medication which was working, it seems it’s back up. Not as high as it was, but still more high than it should be. So I start this new medicine on Wednesday morning. I feel a little weird on Wednesday, but almost all of the medications I take have dizziness listed as a possible side effect. So I experience some dizziness fairly regularly. I didn’t think much about it. On Thursday, it was worse. I take AmoebaJr to music class and I was having a hell of a time staying vertical.

By dinnertime, I’m convinced this isn’t my normal amount of dizziness. Because I’m still getting dizzy sitting still, head forward and not moving. Remember the blood pressure thing, I told Hermoine we needed to check it after dinner (it has to be 30 minutes after a meal). I said that it felt like high blood pressure but that if it was the new medicine, I don’t think I could take it again. In addition to being dizzy, it presents as what I can only describe as a jolt of electricity. My ears basically go deaf, save for a weird zapping sound. And a flash goes over my eyes. This happens in milliseconds. And then I go back to just being dizzy.

Eventually get to my blood pressure and it’s high, but basically where it has been the past few readings. Not nearly as high as pre-BP medicine recordings. When heading to bed, I feel ready to fall at any moment and just sit there with the dizzy head and the jolting. We decide I should skip the next dose of the new medicine and see what happens. Thankfully, I’m feeling better today. At least physically. We’ll see how the doctor responds to that news.

It was a hell of a week. And I don’t drink, but the thought of a light sedative was quite tempting. In all honesty, I probably needed weed. Which I’ve never done and wouldn’t have the first clue as to where to get some, anyway. I should just stick to the Pepsi.

14 comments on “That Week I Almost Met Jim Beam

  1. Jenn

    Michael – I hear ya! By 6pm every night I am so incredibly emotionally drained that getting through the last two hours feels nearly impossible. Hang in there with the new med. I hope your doctor can give you some answers as to why you’re having all those awful side effects. With the social media connections – I also understand your frustrations. It’s hard to connect with people virtually. I hope you have a good weekend and things start to look up soon. Keep your chin up. And keep smiling. :)

    • I'm Not Infectious Post author

      Thanks for stopping by Jenn. It’s funny you mention 6, because twice in the last few weeks my wife has gone on business trips leaving me in charge for 3 straight days. So where I’m usually thankful when she gets home at 4 or 5, by the time my daughter is done with lunch on the second day, I’m at the edge of sanity.

  2. Cristi Comes

    I’m really sorry to see you think you don’t have ” real problems ” so you’re not fitting in. You’ve been nothing but supportive of me and I really do appreciate that. I know that depression lies to us and makes us feel like we’re not good enough. I’ve been feeling that way too in the blogging world but it’s all lies bc I know that if at least one person is affected positively from what we do, that should be enough. I’m sorry it’s been a rough week. I hope it gets better fast, and glad you stopped taking the med. clearly it was the wrong one for your blood pressure. Take care.

    • I'm Not Infectious Post author

      Thanks for the support Cristi. I’m glad you’ve found me to be supportive. I really try to be. Maybe to too many people.

      I’ve got a childhood of telling me I’m stupid, etc to make me feel like I’m not good enough. And it seems like I never have anyone tell me I am. I agree that touching just one person makes a difference. But if I do, people don’t tell me. I always try to provide positive reinforcement, but I can’t tell you the last time anyone said to me, “thanks a lot for your help, dude, I really needed that.” Heck, maybe that’s because I’ve never been told that.

      You more than fit in. You’re an all star in the mental health arena. I’m the guy trying to stand on a milk crate to look over the fence and watch the game. Except I break the milk crate and end up cracking my head on the ground. And no one sees me on the ground, because they’re all having fun at the game.

      I really appreciate you stopping by. You do great work. I hope to get another chance to write for you. And you’re a good person. I hope someday you’ll be able to call me a friend. <3

  3. Monica

    Geeze Louise, what a week indeed! I agree that you are good people and that you truly do get to say you have ‘real problems’. Because you do. And it’s good to share them with others. Our stories are so important, and sharing them validates not only ourselves, but those who can relate and understand.

    I wanted to say something about the mom who lost her infant daughter. My heart breaks for her. I know it’s not the same, but I was widowed about 7 1/2 years ago.

    There really are no adequate words; grieving the death of a loved one is not a ‘fixable’ thing. It’s a thing we get through and learn to somehow keep living, but it’s never fixed. I think that your responses to your friend have been loving, encouraging, and insightful.

    I believe that more than anything we want to know that we matter, that our stories count for something, that our grief and loss are acknowledged, that we aren’t nuts for not ‘getting over it and moving on’. We don’t want to be invisible. (I believe this goes for everyone, but when we are in grief or another struggle, it’s magnified.)

    There will be plenty of idiots who tear this precious mom down. I honor you for the way you are building her up. Often all we can do is offer our small gestures of love and support. I see you doing exactly that. You are being a true friend, even if she doesn’t have the ability to acknowledge that right now (or ever – grief blinds us to so much but the essentials, and drains away every reserve).

    Thanks for sharing this story. It’s important.

    • I'm Not Infectious Post author

      Thanks for the words Monica. I can’t know what would make you think I’m “good people” but at this point I’m too exhausted to fight you on it. I certainly try to be good.

      I’m not used to sharing these kinds of vulnerabilities yet. Probably never will be, but I do need to post these types of things more often. Thankfully I haven’t seen a week this craptacular in a long time, so any future posts on my depression will be easier to write and share.

      Again, thank you. It really means a lot to me that you stopped by to offer kind words.

  4. (@KathyAMorelli)

    Hi – Tough week! Hope you are feeling better re high blood pressure…just wanted to connect as you said you felt like you don’t fit in, virtually or IRL! There are all sorts of people out in the virtual world…it looks like you have some friends out there! Good luck!

    • I'm Not Infectious Post author

      Thanks for reaching out, Kathy. I’m back to normal and meant to call the doctor today to let her know, but forgot.

      Definitely feel like an outcast in the virtual world, too. Thankfully there are >a few< people that I can get support from. :)

  5. Pingback: About That Other Post from Last Fall, or: I was Dizzy for 9 Months | I'm Not Infectious

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