Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The night I spent in a mental hospital

The following was written years ago and left to rot. I've since had a different experience with a mental hospital that was much more pleasant, but this is a story of my first experience.

As I lay curled in a ball in the main room with my face pressed against the blue vinyl chair that smelled of old piss, listening to the haggard woman lying near me shout at ghosts that seemed to be whispering in her ears, all while trying to block out the desperate, blood-curdling screams of drugged-out patients restrained in the rooms adjacent, I couldn't help but reflect a little on how I landed here.

Hold on.  Rewind.

As I sat fully clothed and alone in the shower with the hot water running over me, trying to gather my scattered and paranoid thoughts, I kept coming back to one:  How could my wife do that to me?  Just toss me aside like I'm nothing?

"That's right!" Agreed the voice to my left as my loving wife pounded on the door, begging for me to let her in.

"She never loved you, anyway!" Chimed in the voice to my right as my loving wife shouted that she was calling 911.

And that's how I ended up in a mental hospital.

The lack of care given to mental health in the American health care system is readily apparent to anyone with a mental illness major enough to attract attention.  The staff, mostly guards, were overworked and underpaid, all equipped with a can of pepper spray that dangled threateningly off their belts.  It's nothing like what you see in the movies - no private room with white padded walls.  Here, everything is bleak and dirty with the faint stench of urine - as if someone took a bucket of the stuff and sloshed it around everywhere with a sponge.  There's one large open room where most of the patients are kept, and there are smaller rooms to the side reserved for the more difficult patients.

As the night goes on, more and more patients are wheeled into the main room and dropped off like a stone mason dumping a wheelbarrow full of bricks.  Once checked in and sedated, the patient fends for himself, finding either a chair or a clear spot on the ground to curl up and cry until a drug-induced sleep inevitably takes over.  Attempt to talk to a nurse or a doctor and you're met with a threatening glare as the guards approach you with their hands on the pepper spray.  It becomes painfully clear that problems in this place are solved with brute force and drugs.

I didn't want to be there, but even more than that, I didn't want to belong there.  It's a tough pill to swallow - that you're crazy enough to be kept with the crazy people.  To an outsider, there really wasn't much of a difference between me and the guy next to me obsessing over how the government uses milk to control you.  That was probably the most difficult part - the hit to my pride as I had to accept that I had actually landed myself in a mental hospital.  As the alcoholics like to say, this was my rock bottom.

But rock bottom isn't so bad.  I mean - I guess it's bad because it's technically the lowest you can possibly get, but it usually marks the beginning of recovery, which is what this was.  And that's good!

Where I live (which is one of the most densely populated places in the United States), getting an appointment with a psychiatrist is alarmingly difficult.  There are only a few in town and they're insanely busy.  So the soonest appointment a new patient can get is 3 months out, which, when you're paranoid because the voices in your head are telling you your wife is cheating on you, is a little too long to wait for help.  But if you call and say that you were referred to them by the mental hospital where you were a patient, they suddenly have loads of times available for you.  It makes me wonder if they get a tax break for such patients, or perhaps they just want an interesting case.  Either way, saying you were a patient in the mental hospital is like saying you have two penises - everyone's gonna want to see what all the fuss is about.

"VISITOR FOR BRANDON" calls a voice from the nurses desk.  I get up and hobble over.  They took my clothes from me - including my shoes.  I had to wear 2 button down shirts (one facing forward, one facing backwards) because apparently they don't have XL shirts.  I wore scrub bottoms and white socks.  I was cold pretty much the whole night and they didn't have enough blankets to go around.

Across from me sat my loving wife, in tears, no doubt thinking that she never thought she would see the day her handsome husband would be kept in a mental hospital.  I don't remember a lot about our conversation (I was a bit preoccupied with the voices in my head telling me not to trust the woman), but I remember her concern.  I wish I could provide more detail about it, but I really don't remember.

We didn't have long before we were told that visiting hours were over.  I hobbled back over to my blue vinyl chair and sat back down and decided to fall asleep.  I tried for hours to fall asleep.  My mind was moving too fast.  I thought about missing school and the friends I had made there.  I thought about my wife and worried that she was worrying about me.  I thought about my family and wondered if they'd be super cautious around me now.  I thought lots of things.  Sleep never came for me that night.

I'm not sure how long it was, but I know it was several hours.  They finally called me in to see a doctor.  It was the middle of the night / early morning - that I remember.  I described what was going on as the female doctor in casual attire listened.  She was fast in telling me who to contact and what to say - as if she was coaching me on how to navigate the system; a system that, it turns out, is complex and frustrating.  After about 3 minutes, she prescribed me an antipsychotic (called Zyprexa) that also makes you sleep and declared me fit to rejoin society - most likely because they were running out of room and I seemed pretty coherent compared to the rest of the patients.

I was brought to a private room with all my belongings and was told to change back into my normal clothes.  Even though it had only been less than a day, I was emotional at the sight of my stuff.  I suppose that's normal when your things are forcibly taken away from you and then given back - you get emotional.  I got dressed and signed some paperwork that I didn't read, and my loving wife picked me up in the lobby.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Update after a year of absence

So it's been about a year since my last post and that's mostly been on purpose.  My last post was me basically laying out everything that has been wrong with me (and it's been quite a journey since then).  So I figure this is a bit of an update:

I have bipolar disorder.  Bipolar disorder used to be called manic-depressive order, and there's a good reason for that: it presents with two major symptoms: A high energy phase; and a low energy phase.  In mania, I make poorly thought-out decisions and hear voices and feel major paranoia.  In depression, I can't even get out of bed and have suicidal thoughts.  Each phase is spaced out with about 4 months in between the worst times (so mania - 4 months - depression - 4 months - mania, etc.).

Despite my best efforts, it's not the kind of thing that you can just snap out of.  But the good news is that, once it's recognized and diagnosed, it's very treatable.  So I'm on a mixture of medications designed to balance my mind, and it's made a tremendous difference.  I'm back in school and able to function normally (for now).  I hope these medications continue to work into the future.

As for my religion (in reference to my post a year ago), Camille and I have decided to move in a different direction.  We thank everyone for their input.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

My mental health and my religion

I've been doing a lot of thinking - mostly trying to figure out how I would honestly answer the question "how are you?"

It's a question that's surprisingly difficult for me to answer.  I'm currently lying alone in bed in the dark (my lovely wife, Camille, is in Las Vegas for work.  i just got a text from her - "this isn't a buffet, it's a personal challenge." so, you know, there's that).

I don't really feel lonely - I rarely feel lonely.  I guess I've just been thinking about my own life and how much it's changed in the last 2 or 3 months and what that means for my future.

I guess I should explain more so that I can include you in the thought process:

For the people who stay current on my life, whether that be through seeing each other in real life or through Facebook, you know that I'm in chiropractic school.  It's like med school, but with Easy Mode turned on.  Chiropractors are called doctors because several years ago, there were various chiropractic schools throughout the land and they wanted their students to receive a doctorate degree.  So they looked around and realized that no one taught enough credit hours for it to be a doctorate, so they just stole some classes from the medical program and called it good.  I won't ever use most of what I'm learning.

Anyway, I made it through one quarter and started my second quarter where I ran into a bit of a problem...

Again, if you've kept up with my life to any real degree, then you probably know that I have a history of mental health problems

but you're so Normal!! 


When I was 20, I started having seizures for no explainable reason.  The neurologist pretty much accused me of lying about not doing drugs and that was pretty much the end of that.  The seizures stopped after a year or so.

When I was 23 as a missionary in the Dominican Republic for the Mormon church, I pretty much went crazy (or so I thought at the time - now it's like looking at a toddler riding a tricycle compared to the Harley Davidson I deal with now).  I came home early from my mission after the threat of me running away became pretty real.  Nothing sounded better than just walking out the door at night and disappearing into the crowds of people, never to be heard from again.

Damn, that still sounds nice...

I came back home and met with various (unhelpful) Mormon-church-employed "doctors".  Through all the problems I've had with mental health and all that, there are only a handful of times I've ever felt looked down on by someone (almost everyone is extremely supportive).  Those doctors definitely made me feel like there was something wrong with me because there was something wrong with me (and not that I just lost the genetic lottery or whatever explanation doctors are supposed to give).  They made it sound as if I had done something bad and this was my punishment.  Their questions for me weren't so much focused on what made me feel better or worse.  They were focused on finding out if I had sins that I didn't confess before leaving on a mission, or maybe I did something while on my mission that would explain me developing these problems?  Without directly saying it, they pretty much said I probably did something bad and God was punishing me.

After multiple meetings of them trying to pry some kind of confession from me, I was told I had a "mood disorder of some kind", given some drugs, and pushed out the door.  Later, I would see another doctor who would report the Mormon-church-employed "doctors" for malpractice (apparently giving a patient 2 years worth of drugs and never seeing them again is bad).

When I was 25, I was diagnosed with Bipolar II disorder.  Everyone pretty much knows what bipolar disorder is (experiencing uncontrollable extremes in mood - usually depression and mania), but few people know the distinction between bipolar I and bipolar II.  Bipolar I, in my opinion, sounds much worse than Bipolar II.  Bipolar I is where you get really insane levels of mania and do stupid things like stand in front of an airplane as it tries to take off (I had a friend try that once).  The "mood peaks" of bipolar I (both mania and depression) are much more severe.  Bipolar II is more like sadness, but sometimes you're not sad, you're actually quite charming and sociable and awesome.  The danger with bipolar II is that you don't really know that you've had a manic episode until it's over and you realize you have tons of new friends, hobbies, STDs,  no money, no job, no school, and an eviction notice.  Then you get super depressed, think about times when you were happy, worry that people think you're a loser, and contemplate suicide.  Bipolar II also comes with insomnia, which is why I had trouble sleeping a few years ago.  So it's that shit, but over and over with very little you can do about it on your own.

People who haven't experienced it (such as my wife or my mother) don't really understand why you can't just will yourself out of it.  If the problem is that you're sad, then think happy thoughts!  If it were that easy, it wouldn't be a problem people have.  When I'm in the throes of mental illness, I have as much control over my brain as my wife has over my brain.  A normal person commands their brain/body to do something and it does it.  For someone with bipolar disorder or depression or something like that, instead of making a command, it's more like making a request (self, please get up and shower?).  And those requests are often ignored.  You can't will yourself out of it because you aren't the one in control.

Then one day, it all went away.  All my problems just went *poof*, and then they were gone.  No need for medication to help me sleep.  No need to lock myself in my bedroom for days at a time because real life was more than I could handle.  No problems with hanging onto money.  All my problems just sort of... faded away.  And life was perfect!

I mean, sure, I had a rough day here and there; everybody does.  But there was a distinct lack of "I can't control this" going on, and it was really nice.  In that time, I had a good-enough job managing a gas station, I dated a lot, I got married, I graduated from college, I got into grad school.  It was the most productive year of my life!  Life is surprisingly easy when your own mind is working with you instead of against you.

And then it all came back, but way way worse than before.

I started hearing voices.  At first they were pretty primitive - not so much voices in a speaking sense as much as just sort of jumbled background noise.  When they did speak coherently enough to understand, they would try to convince me that my wife was fat.  Then after a few weeks, they went away again and I was fine.  I read that people often temporarily hear voices and stuff when they make a big life change, and I figured me getting married was that change, so I continued on like it never happened.

Then they came back with the figurative power of the Spartan army, and I wasn't prepared for that.  Voices, paranoia, random spiritual experiences, being in a constant dreamlike state - it was like I was watching a movie of my own life with someone else making my decisions for me (and there were other people in the theater shouting at the screen).  I don't know if I can accurately express in words how terrifying it is when you can't tell the difference between reality and fiction.

I have a memory of me stabbing my wife and watching her die... did I actually stab my wife??, or was that memory somehow inserted into my mind?  OH NO!! OH NOOO!!! PLEASE NO!!  Oh, she's fine.  False memory.

I have a memory of my wife leaving me!  How could she do that to me??  WHY???

I have a memory of me having sex with this random person in one of my classes.  Did I actually do that?

I have no memory of how I got here.  How did I get here?

Where's my son?  Do I have a son?  I think I remember having a son.

There are two voices - Sandra and Tom.  They aren't voices of anyone that I recognize in my own life (that's always the first question people ask me - "IS IT ME??").  Sandra and Tom are both pretty neutral-sounding voices.  Sandra talks much more frequently than Tom, and she is a total bitch.  Tom is better, but also kind of a bitch.

Their main goal is to convince me that my wife is cheating on me.  They come up with various narratives of what she did during the day while "at work" and make fun of me for not being able to see the evidence.  I'll admit, there came a point where I believed them, and that was also point where I realized that I couldn't fix this problem myself and started reaching out for help.

I dropped out of school for the quarter and shut down for a while.  I'm pretty sure Camille fantasized of a life where her husband isn't a total psycho, but I guess we each have our lot in life.

I even spent a night in a mental hospital after shouting at the voices while in the shower and scaring my wife (who then begged for me to check myself in).  Then after that, I found a doctor and got some medication that has helped tremendously.

So that pretty much brings us to now.  I start school again on Monday, and I have a completely different view on life.  I've realized how easy it is to believe something that isn't real.  Everything I think I know has to be relearned again to make sure it's actual knowledge and not just something I made up.  That's a HUGE task!  Reviewing every single fact I think I know?  I can't trust any non-confirmed knowledge or memory ever again!

In the Mormon church, it's common to tell people to listen for a "still, small voice" and that's supposed to be the Holy Ghost guiding you.  Now imagine you hear voices that you want to disappear forever and imagine how receptive you are to the advice to listen for a voice that tells you what to do.  Imagine you have random spiritual experiences in the weirdest locations (such as taking a massive dump in the bathroom) and imagine someone telling you that when you feel that feeling, that's the Spirit of God conveying truth to you.

How do I approach religion now that I have these problems?  That's a question that I'm actually asking you, the reader.  I need advice on this topic.

Do I just abandon it?  I feel like if God exists and he plans on having some kind of judgment day, he'd be pretty forgiving of someone with my problems.

I can't just jump in 100%, I need to take it slow and question everything, but that behavior is frowned upon in Christian religions.  And even then, how can I know if something is spiritually true when feeling that spiritual feeling is a symptom of my mental illness?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

This is me blogging more


FINE!  I'll blog more.

The last few months have been kind of hectic.  My beloved gas station has officially turned into a 7-eleven and I absolutely hate it now.  I judge how much I like a job based on how often I wish I was dead.  If I wish I was dead only like once or twice throughout the week, then it's probably a pretty good job.  If I wish I was dead 24-25 times, then it's probably time to find another job because at that point I'm constantly thinking about dying and James Dean taught us what happens when you constantly think about death.  (spoiler - he died)  So right now I average probably 15-17 death thoughts a week directly related to work.  So we're getting up there.

I don't like working for people who don't trust their own employees.  While I understand that 7-eleven mostly hires people that have no other skills or much else going on in their lives (and as a result, are a little on the "untrustworthy" side), it still bothers me when they have a bunch of obstacles in place that prevent me from efficiently ringing a person up for a donut.  So once I feel like I have enough money to not work there anymore, I probably won't work there anymore.

I'm also getting married in... 18 days I think?  Holy crap.  18 days.  Don't get me wrong, I'm excited about it, but it's also weird to think that everything changes in 18 days.  When I ask friends how being married is, most of them say "Umm... just enjoy being single."  And that scares me.  Are you all part of a secret society designed to make others miserable?  Is that what this is all about?

My free time is mostly spent playing video games.  If video game design were more of a family-man friendly environment, I'd totally get a job doing that, but from what I hear, it's 12-14 hour days 6 days a week and most people don't stay in the business for more than like 3 years.  That's not what I'm looking for.  The 12-14 hour days don't bother me much as long as they're not every single day.

Also, I started a Twitter account (https://twitter.com/hugocwip).  Why?  Boredom, mostly.  I'm also thinking about starting a blog where I talk entirely about video games, but I think that might get boring for me.  Also, if my parents ever found that hypothetical blog, I think they would feel like failures because they still think video games are a child's toy for some reason.

And then I remember that I work at 7-eleven and that my parents probably already feel like they failed.

Why am I so bored?  Well, I tend to have one major medical emergency per year.  Last year, I lost the ability to walk.  The years previous, I was pretty much insane.  The year before that, I had to get surgery right above my bumhole.  The year before that, I randomly had seizures for no explainable reason (coincidentally starting when I started dating Sara 1.0 and stopping when I stopped dating Sara 1.0).  The year before that, I one day stopped hearing things.  That pretty much catches us up for the last 8 or so years.

So you see, I have one major medical emergency per year and it's pretty much always been like that.  Most of them turn out to be me doing something negligent, such putting a Q-Tip in my ear even though it explicitly states right on the box to not do that.  This year's medical emergency is intense leg pain that isn't made better by doing anything.  Right now, my legs hurt.  Muscle pain down the front of my thighs and the backs of my calves.  Why?  No idea.  The doctor doesn't know either.  Says I might need to lose weight.  Then I showed him what his own lung looks like.

So I had my boss at work drop me down to part time while I writhe in pain in my own quarters.  So now I have lots of free time to do pretty much whatever I want, as long as what I want doesn't involve walking.

Any suggestions on what a cripple is supposed to do for fun/work?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


This news is a little old, but I figure I'll go ahead and let the world know that I'm engaged to The French Girl.  We are getting married November 17th in Washington DC.

So... yeah.  Mission accomplished, I guess.  Everyone can go home now.  My youth-long quest of finding someone to love and to love me is pretty much over (in like 53 days... or maybe it's 54?  i dunno, i try not to keep track because it'll seem longer than it is if i do that).  

As apology for not announcing this sooner on my blog, here is a picture from our engagement set (and proof that she actually exists and has desires to put her mouth against my mouth).

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Ice Cream Quarrel

The French Girl and I finally had our first tiff (unless you count that one time I absolutely broke her heart for a girl that I wasn't even totally sure I wanted to date, in which case I guess it was technically our second tiff).  We didn't really get too far into it or anything because on the outside, it was silly and petty, but under the surface I think we were both coming to a realization.

You see, we've been talking about some pretty serious things in our future.  Without giving away the ending too much (he said, while pretty much giving away the ending), she's going to be meeting my family in like two or three weeks, and I'm meeting her family over Labor Day Weekend.  So with serious conversation comes serious reflection along with some serious realizations.

The petty spat revolved around one simple thing:  Ice cream.  I freaking love ice cream.  I'm honestly surprised that I have yet to contract some form of diabetes because I love ice cream so much.  I usually eat ice cream to the point of sickness, at which point I refuse to regret my stupid decision (because I freaking love ice cream).  I then writhe in my bed in discomfort for the rest of the night, unable to fall asleep due to sugar rush (and a slight-but-smelly lactose intolerance), and I then spend the next day in a sleepy stupor, promising myself that I'll be more responsible next time (but not really meaning it).  It's great!  It really is something that I look forward to when I get my hands on a fresh container of ice cream.  I literally think to myself "You're gonna make me sick and I'm gonna love every second of it!"

But today, The French Girl told me "No!".  She told me I couldn't have anymore ice cream when I told her I was going back for seconds because she didn't want to let me get a "tummy ache" (at which point, she rubbed my tummy).  Then she informed me that I'll thank her later and that she knows better than me.

I was confused at first - what does she care?  I was about to go to work - she didn't have to deal with it.  Then I was upset - does she really think her judgment is that far ahead of mine?  Although eating lots of ice cream is probably an unhealthy thing to do, I'm not overall an unhealthy person.  Plus I'm 26 years old.  If I want more ice cream and am fully willing to accept all the repercussions of it, then what does she care if I eat ice cream?

I did my best to just let it go and not pout, but she could tell that something was wrong and wouldn't leave it alone (I guess I was being too quiet, but that's because I was thinking), so I finally admitted to her that I didn't like being told I couldn't have anymore ice cream.  Then I realized something:

Marriage must be hard.  I've never done it before, but today I began to realize that I won't get to do what I want when I want anymore.  And that doesn't just mean eat large amounts of ice cream.  I won't be able to go to the movies when I want or watch a movie on my laptop before going to bed when I want or anything like that.  I won't even be able to go on a walk by myself for several hours when I want.  There will be another person that I'll always have to keep in mind.  How do people not go crazy with that kind of thing always hanging over them?

I'd like to point out that I don't really mind being told what to do.  If there are dirty dishes, feel free to tell me to wash them.  If the trash is full, by all means, tell me to take it out.  If there's a scary spider in the bathroom, I'll gladly kill it with my shoe and then collect my "just reward" (I'm talkin' 'bout lovin').  Those things don't bother me.  It's when people tell me to do (or not do) personal things that it bothers me.  Don't come into my bedroom and tell me I need to clean it.  Don't tell me I can't sleep in or take a nap.  Don't tell me I've spent too much time on the computer and that I now need to go outside.  Don't tell me I can't have more ice cream.  I looked forward to the day I could do those sorts of things my own way for 18 years and I'm not going back.  I do personal things the way I do them for a reason and having other people tell me that I'm doing them incorrectly annoys me and, after a certain point, upsets me.

The French Girl, during intimate moments when we're telling each other we love each other and stuff like that, often whispers in my ear that she wants to take care of me - that she wants to cook for me and do my laundry and make sure I don't eat too much ice cream and stuff like that.  If I'm being completely honest (which I usually do in this blog), that makes me uncomfortable.  I know she whispers those things in my ear because to her, that's showing affection, and that's fine.  But I'm not really looking for another mother.  I already have one of those and she did a fantastic job raising me.  I'm looking for someone that I can share my life with, not someone to clean up after me.  I'm capable of taking care of myself, so why would I look for someone to take care of me?  I'm not capable of complete emotional fulfillment by myself.  I'm not capable of providing myself with companionship.  I'm not capable of raising a family by myself.  Those are the things I want.  Not a maid or a mother, but a wife.

I often hear friends complain that they have one more child than the actual number of children they have ("I HAVE THREE CHILDREN: A TWO-YEAR-OLD, A FIVE-YEAR-OLD, AND A HUSBAND!").  That's downright insulting and I refuse to let my future wife talk about me that way.  It's not ok for women to think that about their husbands that way.  It's too condescending and I don't think it reflects a good, balanced relationship.  Husbands are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves and aren't completely helpless, and thinking that they are severely undermines everything that they do for a family.

So tomorrow The French Girl and I will see each other and everything will be fine because, really, telling me I'm not allowed to eat too much ice cream really isn't that big of a deal.  I just think it's weird how much introspection and realization can come from such a small and insignificant little tiff.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


So in a strange and difficult to explain turn of events, I am now back together with The French Girl and have told Chloe that I would rather just be friends.  I know, that's a huge swing from my last few (sparse) posts, but I feel like I've made the right decision.  So now the big question:


Me dating The French Girl was a good thing for me, but I went into the "relationship" knowing that it would be a temporary thing, so I treated it like a temporary thing.  Anytime I started feeling any kind of emotion beyond "this girl is fun", I'd stop myself and remind myself that I'd be seeing Chloe soon.  I was honest with The French Girl at the beginning of our relationship that we would be breaking up, so I didn't think much of it.

Then June came and I was by myself for the month because literally all of my friends were out of town.  I'm the kind of person that spends a lot of time in my own thoughts anyway, so when you take away all social distractions, I'm pretty much stuck with my own thoughts.  So I thought A LOT.  And I found myself thinking about The French Girl a lot.  And I realized that I missed her.  It was a really great relationship where I could be weird and silly and tell her things that I'm embarrassed to tell other people and stuff like that (plus she is a fantastic kisser).  In my thinking, I realized that there are only a few things about The French Girl that bothered me:  1. She was loud.  2. She was emotional.  3. She was sometimes needy.  That was it.  Only 3 things about her that kind of bothered me.  Other than that, I realized that she's exactly what I'm looking for.

So I sat and thought on that for a week or so.  I thought in all sorts of different scenarios - if things don't work out with Chloe, would I get back with The French Girl?  If I never knew Chloe, how would things be different with The French Girl?  Things like that.  I thought through dozens of different scenarios.

And then I wondered how Chloe would be better for me than The French Girl.  Now, I haven't seen Chloe in like two years, so my judgment on the matter isn't 100% correct, but I feel like I have enough information to make an informed decision.  Basically, in order to be better for me than The French Girl, Chloe would have to have all of the wonderful things that The French Girl has, as well as not be either loud, emotional, or needy.

I've always liked taking risks and I've always known that going after Chloe would be a risk.  But I realized that it's a risk that I don't need to take.  Based on what I know of Chloe, I think The French Girl is a better match for me.

And then the jealousy thing kicked in and that's when I really realized that the feelings that I have for The French Girl were serious.  So a few days after that incident, I called The French Girl and after a brief re-ice-breaking conversation, I said "I think I'm in love with you..."

I explained the situation.  I explained how The French Girl was perfect for me except for 3 small things.  She boldly asked what they were.  So I told her.  And she's been working on them.  She knows that she's loud, she knows that she's emotional, and she said she was needy because she couldn't feel secure in our relationship because she knew my thoughts were elsewhere.

This all took place like two weeks ago, and things are only improving (and quite quickly).

I guess the point is that I'm happy.