For real. Manic. Right now. Yesterday, I was anxiety ridden and spent WAY too much money, even to be considered a “spree” and today I uprooted and replanted about 200 irises. Why does spring always sneak up on me? I love/hate this part of being bipolar.
The pros definitely outweigh the cons on most days, but the past 48 hours have been a whirlwind of social anxiety, going in TJ for pillows and coming out $300 poorer in addition to 5 other similar binge purchases and flying dirt and flower bulbs. The good news is I bought a lot of really useful stuff not just things to blow money on and I have a LOT of work to get done this week. I was sort of dreading the upcoming task of making about 400 soaps in the next 3 days, but now I’m actually looking forward to the task. It’ll keep me busy and productive, when otherwise I could completely derail.
So let’s play a game. I’ll describe in detail portions of what has been going on inside my head, and you smile and nod all while backing away slowly. Ready? Go!
Yesterday morning, I woke up too late for church and felt incredibly guilty about it. Like ridiculously guilty. Thoughts about what everyone was saying about my absence, even though logically I know most people don’t give two shits, went racing rampantly through my head. I read about 4 chapters of my breastfeeding book for my ProDoula certification, about twice as much as I usually read in one sitting, and then I got a shower.
Chris, Ava, and I were going to Jonesboro for our monthly shopping trip for random shit like dog & cat food, and we were going to go to the Art Society meeting at two. So during our 37 mile drive time I have decided that I need to go to Ulta to get shampoo, conditioner, and a new giant bottle of Living Proof’s no frizz nourishing styling cream. All daily use, necessity stuff. Then I remember I am almost out of my Nars Orgasm blush, which is all I use in the spring, so I had better pick that up, too. Wait. I have reward points at Sephora, better go there for the blush and styling cream. So Ulta is our first stop in town.
I walk in Ulta and immediately start feeling overstimulated. Shit. Better get in and get out. They moved my shampoo and the bottle is now considerably smaller for the same price, and they only have one bottle of my conditioner, which throws me off because I came in for two. Fine, fuck it. I can deal with this and come back later for the second bottle. I make my way through the hair dye section and think hurriedly that I am going to need a touch up soon, ooohhhhh this one’s on sale! No! I did not come in here for hair dye. Money is tight. I need to stick to the game plan. I spy the Living Proof section out of the corner of my eye, and grab the biggest bottle available for purchase. I head to the check out and remember I’m low on eye brow pencil and I have training this upcoming weekend so I should pick one up just in case, no biggie, it’s like $12. I get to the check out and the girl in front of me is checking out and setting up her rewards card. I survey her choices, all pretty good quality, so I’m impressed when she tells the clerk her birth year is 2003. This kid is 13 years old. Thirteen. And she just dropped $60 cash like it was nothing. All of the sudden, I realize in about 12 years, I’m going to have to double budget for cosmetics. Fear creeps in as I think about Ava being old enough to wear quality make up. No covergirl for any daughter of mine! It took me 34 years, but I finally found the perfectly matching foundation shade. I won’t let Ava suffer through life with a make up line. Ok. It’s my turn. I compliment the clerk on her hair color and notice her lashes. Shit! Lashes. I ordered some natural looking ones from makeup geek and forgot to order glue. I ask where the falsies glue is, she directs me, but I can’t see so she walks me over…too many choices, and she’s waiting on me to make a decision. Fuck. Umm, what do you use? I ask her, she grabs her selections talks me through her pitch about it not being too wet and yet still sticky enough. Ok, fine. Sold. We check out. $90 later, I exit the store having only planned on spending about $25. Not bad for me and Ulta. My husband is less than impressed. But whatever, I needed all this shit.
Next, on to Sephora. I have Chris look up the 100 point perks as we are driving across the street. Ok, there’s anew glam glow mask, I’m totally cashing in my points. I already bought the Living Proof at Ulta, so all I need is a Nars Orgasm blush. Shit! I should have waited on the Living Proof because I have points saved up here, oh well, too late. Ok. Walk in, try to not be a magpie and get distracted by every shimmery sparkly thing in the store. I ask an associate where the Nars display is, and of course, I’ve walked right past it. Great. She thinks I’m an idiot. Ok. Blush. Orgasm, where the fuck is orgasm? Why is it not in the row of blushes…I know damn well they still make it, it has a cult followi…oh there it is, cult classics. How clever. Ooohhhhh, Super Orgasm is just as peachy pink with a touch more shimmer…illuminating is so in right now. Yep, better get Super Orgasm instead. Ok, time to check out and cash in my points. I have the salesgirl look up my rewards card, she mentions nothing about my point balance or cashing them in. I judge her and think she must not be a very good salesperson. So I bring up the possibility of cashing in my points, to which she replies, “Sure! You can get anything inside this little box.” Yay! I’m excited…wait. There’s no glam glow firming anything, just two shitty moisturizers and some eye make up remover. I’m a bit crushed. I really wanted that firming mask. I glaze over and tell her I’ll just keep saving my points. Disheartened, even with my new more shimmery blush, and a perfume sample, I head back to the car. $33. Good job. I stayed on budget.
Chris and Ava are waiting in the car. I need to get gas and get my car washed. We head to Kroger. Hooray! I have 20 cents off, better save some of those for the trip to Fayetteville. I use ten and get $22 worth of gas, more than it has cost lately, but still cheap for an SUV. We head to the car wash. Shit! Why are there so damn many selections? Now I have to read all this shit and make yet another decision. I choose the $12 wash because it includes vacuuming the interior, and as the mother of a toddler I have crunched up goldfish all over my floorboard. Oh, what a glamorous life I lead now. I laugh a little. Chris asks what’s funny, and I say “nothing, is Ava asleep?” I was really hoping she was asleep. Car washes have freaked her out recently. She isn’t. Fucking beautiful. Screaming child for the next 5 consecutive minutes or so. Where do I go to get the vacuuming done? After a minute of driving around, I find it. There’s a line. We have to be at the Art Society meeting in 15 minutes. I ask the guy how long, and he rambles on about still having 10 or so minutes on the truck in front of me. I must have grimaced unknowingly because he senses I can’t wait and goes to get another employee. Fantastic! Small favors from the universe! She vacuums out my car while we wait inside. I look at business cards and critique each one silently. I find one very clean and classic looking realtor’s card. I take it for reference when designing my own. Ava’s playing with the toys, which is great except they’re public toys and probably haven’t been bleached in well, ever. Germaphobia kicks in, and I pick her up just in time to see the girl walking away from my car. “That was fast!” I think and head outside. Chris tells me the meeting is not at the convocation center, instead it is at the public library. Great. We have a VERY vocal one year old, and we are going to a goddamned shush factory. I let Chris drive because I now have no idea where we are going. I get in the back seat. She missed two crunched up goldfish. Oh well, at least she was speedy. Shit, maybe I should have tipped her.
We pull up to one side of the library and I don’t see a door. I think how it’s “just like my husband” to park the farthest away from a door so he can smoke. Doesn’t he know I’m trying to quit? I’ve asked him not to smoke around me…I ask him where the door is, he mentions it around the other side. I get combative, telling him I will be carrying two large bags and a squirmy toddler and in no uncertain terms he had better get me as close to the fucking door as he can. He curses me, calls me lazy and drives around the building. Shut up you just wanted to…”Hey, I’m going to smoke before I go in”, of course you are. Bye. We get in the library and I have no idea where to go. Oh there’s a cousin in law! I’ll bet he knows. He does. Success. Shit. This room is round and has no windows. I immediately tense up, feeling people swarming all around me. A cousin in warm chatting me…I’m panicking. I take a deep breath. Ugh…there he is, cigarette cloud and all. Ok. Just stick with Chris. I get Ava a cookie and some ginger ale. We sit down. I am literally buzzing with anxiety. So Taylor is going to sing? Great. I have a very vocal one year old at a performance in hushed round room with no windows. My life is ending. Ava has chocolate on her fingers, and now on my shirt. Fanfreakingtastic. She’s squirmy and I know she working herself up. Taylor says something about phones, I dig mine out of my black hole of a purse and put it on silent. Music starts…Ava starts talking…I’m trying to crawl out of my own skin. I stand up with Ava and walk her around hoping it will hush her. Great, another fucking song…
Speeches and awards and pictures later, I am begging Chris to leave. He knows something is wrong so he doesn’t protest too much. We head to Sam’s to get dog food. I leave Chris and a now sleeping Ava in the car as I run in…2 bags of dog food, cat litter, baking soda and fruit. Alright, short enough list. I can manage this.
I walk in to boxes of hydrangeas…I think of gardening which always calms my nerves and grab 4 boxes. $12 a box. An extra $48 bucks for some peace of mind…I’ll take it. Get the dog food aisle. SHIT! That lady from Church who’s name I can never remember. We talk about her kids birthday party, which we had missed the day before because Ava was currently residing on Meltdown Mountain at the time, and I told her how we had her present at the house. She throws in a “We missed you this morning, too” for good measure, and I wince. The guilt is back. Ughhhhh….Wrap up small talk and get the shit on the list. I gather up all items, and head to the checkout without incident. And she’s there, again. We small talk some more. I think of how our little town is just built on the art of small talk…
I walk out of Sam’s feeling washed with guilt and a bit of hostility. She just couldn’t let it pass…whatever. I won’t be at church next week either because of Doula training…I just let it go. Arrange all items in back of SUV without waking the baby. Winning.
OK, on to PetCo for stupid $40 cat food. How did I get so lucky as to have three cats whom will all throw up anything less than fancy holistic food? Chris hates the dogs, I hate the cats, thus is life. I can’t find the cat food…finally locate it on and end cap marked CLEARANCE $19.99, I immediately panic. Are they going to stop carrying this fancy ass food? We JUST got the cats switched over to the lamb and rice recipe. God damn it! Ok, deep breath, head to the checkout. 3,000 people in line, only one lane open. I think of Sophie’s Choice…nope. I have to get this cat food. I wait in the forever abounding line, and think of what else I need to do…my turn. I ask why the food is on clearance, fearing the worst, and I am given an around the bush way of cnvfffdfrldffzoonfirmation. “But you can still order it, through the store, to save on shipping”. Great. Then am told I can’t place order on the phone, I have to drive 37 miles to place the order on their ipad, and then wait 5 days for it to come in, and drive back to pick it up. An extra 168 miles of driving for cats I dislike. FANTASTIC.
Time for TJ Maxx now. We need pillows for our spare room. I’m tired of my parents having to lug theirs up to our house every other weekend. And should my in laws actually ever make it to my house, I’m sure that’s a creature comfort they would expect. Ok $20 for pillows. In and out. Wait. Shoe clearance…I need rain boots. Hooray, they have two pairs in my ginormous size ten! I get the more basic, black ones…more versatile than shiny navy. I scoop them up and head back to bedding. Pillows, pillows…I really like that Tahari quilt for the spare room. But it doesn’t come with shams. Ah hell, it’s $49.99, I can use the pillowcases. Next aisle over, and bam! There are the matching shams. I’m convinced it’s a sign from God, and happily add them to my handful. Wait…why am I getting a new quilt for the spare room, but not for our bed. That we actually sleep in every day. King, king , king…Oh. That Tommy Bahama set is gorgeous…and it comes with shams. I just can’t pass that up. On my way out I spot two dresses that I simply adore, but talk myself out of because, really, this trip isn’t about me, it’s about getting stuff for my family, for our home, not for me. $298 dollars later, and I’m out the door.
Chris needs new flip flops. He runs in Old Navy and grabs them pretty quickly. He says he likes the quilt, so I don’t feel as bad about my binge purchasing as I had a few minutes ago. I am validated.
Tobacco store. Chris needs a pipe, and tobacco and rolling papers . 20 minutes later, I’m still waiting in the car and I think “doesn’t he know how hard this is for me?” And I’m staring at an ad for an e-cigarette…as soon as he gets in the car I get out and go purchase a disposable e-cigarette. This will help me get through without the nasty taste and smell. I pleased as I take my first drag of non-offending nicotine.
Last stop, on to Hays. It just opened and Chris needs new jeans. We walk up to a 70% off sidewalk sale. I grab a pair of Silver jeans, as does Chris and a few shirts for both of us, and we make our way to the kids section where we get Ava 2 new shirts and a pair of blue jean shorts. Spending money on Ava is never consequential…it feels good. We go inside…I am on sensory overload. There is SO much to look at, touch, fantasize about. There are buy 3, get 1 free stickers on some Mud Pie displays, so I start looking there. I find 3 shirts, a pair of shorts and 2 dresses. Chris and Ava have wandered to the other side of the store, so I actually have time to shop for myself for a change. I relish in that feeling. We have been so broke for so long, it would be nice to have some new things and not to have to ask my parents to pay for it. I find myself in shoes looking Uggs Slippers. They’re 35% off, so that’s basically free. If they have the cheapest ones in my size I’ll get them. My house shoes are worn bare. I send the sales girl to the back with 2 options, she comes back with neither, but with 3 other options, (of course the more expensive ones) and I try them on…nope. They don’t fit correctly enough for that kind of money. I send her away, feeling in control of myself. I notice the yellowbox flip flops and grab a pair that happen to match one of the outfits I had assembled earlier. They are squishy, like a good worn in yoga mat. They make me feel happy…and make me miss yoga, and Little Rock. I will get them for good measure. They are on sale, anyway. I wander through the bathing suits and begrudgingly think of how I will need a postpartum bathing suit. My body looks nothing like it did two years ago and I mourn the change. I find myself in workout clothes…Jesus, it costs like $135 for one North Face running set…I feel guilty and put it back on the rack.
I’ve managed to stumble into Chris who tells me he has found a river hat he likes and how how he had found a pair of flip flops he likes better than the Old Navy ones. They don’t have the hat in his size, so I encourage him to get the flip flops…we can always take the other ones back, or not. He deserves two pairs of flip flops…he works his ass off. He also says he found a pair of flops for Ava. He careens me over to the cutest REEF display I have ever seen in my life. I think back to Hawaii and how Reef’s were practically all I wore for 5 years. We have to get them…Ava picks between three pairs. Hooray! She picked the one’s I liked best. Shopping with my family is so much fun! We go to a fitting room to try all of our stuff on.
Chris loves one of the dresses I picked out. I try the jeans on first…they are skinny cut, nevermind. I put them away. I try on an assortment of outfits for my husband, who is also trying on clothes and we select 4 pieces since I can get one free. We agree on purchases, we are having fun. I am happy as a clam. On the way out of the dressing room I grab a necklace, since Ava just broke my diamond one, and a headband. We check out. I was expecting under 200 for sure…nope. $338. It’s a good thing I got paid yesterday. Wait, how was it so much when so much should have been free? OH, it’s the cheapest thing you buy, so we saved a whopping $16. Big fucking deal. I swipe my card feeling cheated.
We continue on to dinner and then back to Manila. I think of the totals and bet “we” have come close to spending my entire check in one day. Great. Overwhelming feelings of guilt rush in. Once home, I immediately start washing everything, knowing if I don’t I’ll wake up with buyer’s remorse and take everything non essential back. I don’t want to take these things back…I need them now. I take my meds, nurse Ava, check my email and fall asleep.
I’m awake 3 hours before usual. What in holy hell is going on? SHIT. I spent all of our money before paying bills yesterday. HOLY SHIT. It’s ok, we will get our taxes back soon and Chris just settled some cases. Everything will be ok. Ugh…
My father in law decided to not come in town, as per usual. Chris has moved his schedule around twice for nothing. I ask him if he can plant my cherry trees that I bought 6 months ago on clearance, since they are blooming. He agrees. Today is going to be a good day…But first, I need him to dig up all those daffodils and fill in the holes in the driveway edging with them. Two hours pass and not one tree in in the ground. I’ve read 3 chapters of my breastfeeding book. I get impatient and go outside to see if I can hurry things up. Ava and I play in the dirt and sunshine. Chris finishes moving about half of the daffodils, dandelions, daffodils (why can’t I remember that) and declares he is done for the day. Not one tree in the ground. I get irritated and start laying out my newly purchased hydrangeas. We don’t see eye to eye on where they should go and why, so I say fuck it, and start digging up Irises that I want moved to line the back side of the driveway. I need Chris to pull out these 3 tree saplings…
Chain and truck and pulling of rootballs later, I am ALMOST happy. If I could just get this project done tonight I would feel so much better. I explain to Chris that I need him to replace the bulb on our lawn light, because I will surely be planting while he and Ava eat dinner. Chris reluctantly replaces aforementioned bulb and I can FEEL his hesitation. He decides to till up the ground for me, so I won’t be outside after dark. He’s rushing me. I need this time to work out everything…I start placing irises in a row, and pulling the trenches dirt back over the bulbs. Chris says something about lining the bulbs up, since I have uprooted nearly two hundred. He starts lying them in the trench ahead of me and I work hurriedly to catch up. Damn it, no! I need this. His rushing is making me anxious and making things worse. I explain that and have him pull all the prior placed irises out of the trench. I finish planting the irises and then see more I forgot to move. I dig them up and dig new holes with the shovel to complete my driveway edging. I am finally pleased. I see the laid out hydrangeas and think “if only I could get those in the ground tonight” and pace for several minutes until I decide it’s something best left for tomorrow morning.
I come inside to find a very muddy and happy Ava in the bath tub. I’m glad she likes digging in the dirt as much as I do. I’m talking to Chris about the irises when it hits me, “I’m manic” I said out loud. We go over my usual manic behaviors: spending money like its water, grandiose multitasking and never ending projects…check, check and check. Fuck. So, here I am again. Typing for three hours what it’s like to be in my brain for 48 hours of mania.
I hope that if you’ve made it this far you can see how crazy my crazy gets. I imagine it’s how a drug addict feels when they are high, if they could just get the NEXT high, they would be happy. Such is my life, if I could only get, buy, own, plant, do something else, I would be happy.
I plan on using these next few days of mania to crank out 80 lbs of soap and finish my breastfeeding book so I’m at least harnessing the crazy in for productive purposes. I know all too soon there will come the crash where I can’t even get out of bed for weeks, so I try to take full advantage of the mania before the depression kicks in.
So yeah, there’s your glimpse into the manic mind…it only gets more scrambled from this point. So if you see me, please be a little extra kind. I’m working through some major shit right now.