The Holidays, 2017

Aside

Whelp, it is time to get on with the Holidays. This year finds me doing well. I thank my doctor, who has an amazing memory and a willingness to keep trying when in the face of  defeat. It is uncommon to have people to talk good about their psychiatrists; I can say I have encountered at least one doctor who was subpar (he was months away from retirement and — seriously — would never even look at while I was in his office). Anyway, my doctor is leaving the practice, so I get to meet a new doctor come January.

When my doctor, Dr. S., told me he was leaving the practice, I had to cry. With my short time sick, I’ve seen six practitioners in ten years (not to include hospital stays). Not a large number to some, but a larger number than I would like. It has to do with insurance and availability and “the system”. My doctor got me on Disability with his copious notes and keen observations. This, I feel, kept me safe and stable in my living arrangements, which goes a long way toward being safe and stable overall. I had a psychotic break as recently as January of this year. It takes forever for the illness to go away, and for me to be feeling normal again (finally!). What a relief.

I asked what kicks off psychosis, what can I expect? I think it boils down to a crap shoot, because they really don’t know what causes it, and I think it is because they like us being sick and on medicine. If just one of those researchers could feel what I go through, I think there would be more money spent on finding the cause and a cure. But the marginalized stay cast in shadows, alone, disenfranchised, and sometimes bereft of hope. I’ve felt that way.

Dr. S. is one of the “good guys,” always upbeat, positive, and ready to roll with the worst of it. I went to his office one day, crying. I blurted out that if I stayed that way, I would commit suicide — a fearful statement like this could easily land one in the hospital, but since he knew I was living with mom, and that mom had an eye on me, he let me go home with a new battery of meds. Now that’s a great psychiatrist: one who will let you vent safely so that he can get to the truth of the matter.

I am going to miss my doctor. Maybe he’ll land back in my world.

Aside

I am left right centered, hooked up and wired. We smoke half the day and find ourselves.

I follow myself and shadow my friends.

And there are others among us who care and cry when we are gone, though we still find ourselves alone.

Drink water or fantasy, and all is well within.

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

Aside

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

Aside

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.