A Beer a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Enjoying my newfound wellness, a reprieve after the heavy pressure of psychosis. I’ve taken to going out a lot and enjoying the summer months (despite the heat). A beer, yes, tastes better in the hot afternoon. I go out to socialize and get my mind off my narrow, myopic indoor self, the one who is bored in the face of the vast internet where anything can be found within a few clicks. I just sit there, staring at the screen, wasting hours upon hours doing nothing much at all. My computer is to me what television is to my mother, the attention grabber that isn’t very important after all.

I’ve decided to keep track of my time using a spiral-bound day planner, and when I notice a chunk of time starting to be etched out doing nothing, I start finding something for myself to do. Ergo–the blog today.

Going out alone in your 40s as a single woman is a lot different than going out alone in your 20s or 30s — something I couldn’t stand then, but should have. In my youth it seemed like every hairy, wrinkled old man would hit on me and park himself next to me, lording over me his stale pheromones and rank booze sweat. In my 40s the men largely consider me a fixture and will talk openly with each other around me, so I get the man’s perspective on everything, for better or for worse. If they get exceptionally frank, one will typically buy me a drink, perhaps in hopes I’ll forget about their raunchiness.

When they inquire about me, I lie about my working status and extend the last date on my resume, saying I am still working my last job (this being the most fresh in my mind); I’m a technical writer working as a project manager. This earns me some street cred and very few questions about what I do day to day. No one wants to be in the shadow of a PM. I feel guilty admitting to being on disability, especially drinking, where I might earn the ire of the working man for using government money to fund my carousing.

I don’t lie about being in school, working on my Master’s in Education. That has sparked a few conversations. Add to it that, come January, I’ll be working on a technical certificate from a reputable local college, I’ll have more to talk about.

I don’t know much about politics. My memory has never served me for political points, nuances, lies, and history. I get pissed off before I can make my point and I just let it roll over me. I know where I stand, and I don’t need convincing or cajoling to alter and amend my views. As far as bar conversation goes, then, not speaking about work, kids, or politics cuts away the meat of what is said in conversation in which I find myself participating, so I sit and enjoy the revelry around me and simply laugh when appropriate.

 

Done With Psychosis, Again

My last psychotic episode, which began in January 2017, has finally ended. It ended in July, so that was a good seven-month run where I was overcome with symptoms. I’ve been able to determine that “Psychosis” for me is a delusional state, not paranoia or auditory hallucinations alone, but a blanket combination of hearing that is overwhelming paired with beliefs that what I hear is my ever-present reality. I follow what the voices say, especially at night when all is quiet.

I can see why paranoia is often a part of the diagnosis. It is what the doctors can see from my actions…I run in fear. I stay up all night, afraid. For me, however, I see it otherwise. Fear seems to be the by product of my delusions. The story line that picks up where it left off from the previous bout of psychosis, while the story line has also evolved as the psychosis has departed.

It’s getting to the point where I absolutely hate my psychosis. It is so taxing, mentally and emotionally. It is the narrative that won’t quit, that never takes a day off. I’m subjugated to the pressure from the moment I wake up until I fall asleep in exhaustion. Months go by where I have no self-directed days. Months.

Making use of my “down time” is something I want to pursue. Maybe a book, I tell myself. I can put all my pain down in the saga, the tragedy. Working harder than ever before, I can do this.

I’ll post more as I plan out my work.

Thanks to everyone who reads me. I lost my .com url with this last bout, so I changed my domain to bugbearandcaw.blog. With your continued support, I will keep writing.

 

Earth Aplunder

Let’s say I’ve been having hallucinations. No, let’s say I’ve been talking to aliens. They’ve been showing themselves to me. They’re here to reclaim the human race–Mother Earth is dying. No. She is already dead–we humans just don’t know it yet.

I’ve been following strange sounds I am hearing in the environment–larger than life sounds, bigger than construction demolition, if you can imagine. The first sound I heard, another man heard it too. We stopped in our tracks and looked in the direction of the sound. Mouths agape, we made small talk, then hurriedly moved on with our lives.

The sounds are becoming more frequent. Different sounds: huge buzzes, big saws, massive rototillers. These are the alien machines eating people off the face of the earth. The time is now, but not quite yet. Someday they’ll all come and throw us into heaps of bodies. Bones will move alone without spirit, and air will taste like gas.

Sugar’s saint is Stella. Stella’s lover is the lion and they’re gone. Ready for liftoff, the spaceships holding those in the know are making their way past the trees and foliage unseen, to safety. For those of us left behind, is there hope? It will happen in waves until the grinding becomes so obvious we’ll not be able to deny it any longer. Life on planet earth is ending, and the humans who have pillaged and plundered her have to go. The green ones, the yellow ones, the blue ones–all gone.

 

On Being a Dying Self

They’re after me, I know it. Not the aliens as we expect–that’s a different story. These are men with magic scalpels that want to transform my life through subjugation and pain. They’re after my woman she-man parts, they’re after my good parts, they’re after my pain and my glory. I smell smoke, see it billowing in the air. Crying out, they hear but they don’t care. They are hell bent on making me miserable, on keeping things status quo and all the while a magic-oriented marshal law takes hold.

They visit me daily, sometimes for hours at a time, tinkering, wondering who I am, why I matter, and what’s the loss anyway? I’m a felled human, I’ve been smoked before, to them there’s no point in listening. In their eyes, I must have deserved it and I’ve been thrown to the wolves for consumption.

I’ve advanced myself to escape the pain this time. By this I mean I’ve evolved, I’ve advanced my life form. I hear thoughts? No. I am psychic? Never. But whatever I am, they don’t like it–the magic men, that is (the aliens are impressed. Maybe there is hope for the world yet.)

I transform myself, and the sorcerers notice. They try to pick me apart like meth heads with nothing better to do than see how a cell phone works from the inside. I’m useless, broken apart and torn from within. In constant pain and fear, I can’t manage my finances, clean house, or some days wipe my ass strait. Is it over yet? am I done with course of therapy they deem necessary for their well-being? I don’t know. Today is a new day. Tomorrow is a new day. I just keep hanging on in hopes they will eventually leave me the hell alone. I take my meds, talk to the doctor and lean on mom for support.

 

It’s Been a While…

New look for the website. Hope you like it.

It seems I have given up on writing, but my attention has just been elsewhere. I’ve heard a lot of people say, “Good Riddance with 2016!” and I just don’t see what they see. 2016 was a decent year for me.

What I’ve learned from 2016 (that I can improve upon)…

I am terribly lonely. I miss the office. I miss daily interaction with people. I feel I have become myopic in my view of the world. I don’t like the feeling of being the center of my doings. May be why I haven’t been blogging. Truth is I am lonely for friends. I don’t want a mate for all the bullshit that goes with it, but it would be nice to know some people.

I think I am depressed. Someone posed this question, “What is your life project?” to which I respond, “OMG I don’t have one!” Seriously. I am almost middled aged! What have I been doing? I’ve no kids, I’ve no husband. I set to furiously detailing clumps of life experiences trying to come up with a theme. Something experiential, empirical, some hard won time on the ground that amounts to something. I’ve got my reading interests, but I need more – some art work, perhaps? Some way to push myself creatively? I have ideas for about five books, but do I write consistently? Ha. No.

I need to get out more. But where? Coffee shops, bars, clubs…wandering with my camera. Gotta keep the expenses down. And then there’s the problem of what do I tell people when I do meet them? Saying am disabled right off the bat doesn’t seem to work well, so I default to “Writer,” saying I work from home. Gallery openings, the library, time in the park…I do some of this already, and my time in the park is especially rewarding, though it is winter now so I can’t do that as much. Sitting at home on the computer all day is not what I want to do anymore and a lot of my activities center around being at my desk. I gotta find a way to make more of my time.

So, whereas 2016 gave me the theme, “Stick close to home”, I think 2017 will be more about 1-working on bonafide writing projects and 2-getting out and about to make friends.

Through the Dark Glass Clearly

MemorySpellScanWhen I was 18 I spent a lot of time thinking about the supernatural. I believed in spirits, energy, and the power of love to transform and heal. I was an optimist, a bleeding heart liberal, a Feeler. Deeply contemplating the lives of others as well as my own, I felt I had an inside look as to the meaning of life. Spirits were always a part of the conversation for me and I sought answers in the Unknown, the realm of mystery, symbols, and serendipity. I played the Ouija alone, worked with Tarot, cast runes. In our spare time, my friends and I would bust clouds with our thoughts, heal one another with our hands, and wade through the waist-deep hopes about the directions our lives would take.

I often found myself meditating, and on one particular night I sat alone in the large bathroom in the home where my friends and I lived. Set out before me on the chocolate carpet were the representations of the four elements: fire, earth, water, air. I brushed myself with sage and sat for a good hour viewing the images on the back of my closed eyes, feeling sensations in my body that spoke of understanding. After a while I closed my meditation, but my experience was not over. When I joined my friends, I received a call from my boyfriend (surely my soul mate, I thought at the time) who had just broken up with me at that moment. I was distraught, and in my rejection I sought direction and solace.

Writing furiously in my journal about all my past hurts, I had to stop myself–I had a vision. In the vision I saw a Magician who spoke to me, not in words but in images of moving pictures. As the film rolled through my mind I saw the lives of my friends unfold – who was happy, who was sad. And in the vision I saw my own life take unfortunate turns. Unlike the lives of my friends, I saw my life  filled with pain and sorrow. I felt true despair for myself and in an instant I made a flash decision to take my life.

Obviously, I didn’t succeed. What was a bad choice resulted in stigmatization from my friends. I became the “emotionally unstable”, the live wire, the cannon ball who at any time could crumble. To this day this is how my friends from that part of my life see me. Cracked. Mentally ill. My suicide attempt, for them, was my defining moment. For myself, not so much.

I moved away, went to college, studied religion and philosophy and landed a job in Corporate America. I was grounded and moving forward leaving my teen drama and emotion behind. University changed me, having explored the Great Thinkers and their thoughts on cosmology and metaphysics. I became a better thinker myself and in the process realized I wasn’t the most creative mind. Sadly, I stopped waxing philosophical with friends and colleges because they couldn’t follow the thread of an argument proper to its logical conclusion. I became overly concerned with logic, clear thinking, and reason. I separated from the emotional, over-reactive, sensitive person my friends perceived as unstable and made a life for myself. I dated managers, engineers, attorneys. I focused on career and at the time my life was brought to a screeching halt by illness, I had just been promoted to manager myself.

My therapist asked me if it was an act of self-sabotage.

That’s stigma. That is the stigma of mental illness talking–even from a Ph.D.-grade therapist.

No amount of “stinking thinking” or angst can bring about auditory hallucinations, delusions of grandeur and persecution, or paranoia. What brings about schizophrenia? Bipolar? Bad genes, a compromised immune system perhaps, brain injury, illness. Honestly, they don’t research it so they STILL don’t know. But I know. What brings about such devastating mental illness is–plainly put–bad luck.

The irony of my own personal life is that schizophrenia took away my love of reason and logic and dumped spirits, magicians, and sorcery in my lap. It took my sharp memories and quick mind and gave me inattention and confusion. And most of all, it gave me back that stigma I had escaped.