Not Your Family’s Chevy

Chevys begat Lunch
And Lunch began the Ocean Language
Which stemmed from the Family and the family of Family Language
Wherefore all Mexicans are not low riders or high riders
And not all Blacks are Rastafarians (your JaMons) or your Chocolate
And not every white person annihilated the Native American with Dinner.

And the Ocean showed me signs and symbols, where the Chevy stood forth and claimed a foot hold on all cars, but not one Chevy knew the right person to “friend or foe”.

Before Thanksgiving I headed off East in my car to join family. I ended up getting lost, yet again. I am not a Chevy. I feel more like the Mexical Roy’al Telephone family, Taco Bell. With all these voices swimming around, Ma Bell has nothing on the stories I hear when tapping into the switch.

Line after Line, I am riding high octane without the fuel for translations between Bells. Fainting Bells, Bell Flowers, Bell Weather Trails, and Climbing Vines. Who am I and what am I becoming? Where have I been, where am I but lost amidst a sea of start points and end games with no one to clue me in on how to get out of this hell. Is anyone out there? Is there anybody listening? Does anybody care at all?

More coherent thoughts to follow in subsequent posts, but for now, this is a map for Family Language.

A Balance Between Clarity and Calamity

Well, this summer is blowing by. With all the social activities I’ve been involved in, you would think nothing at all is wrong with me. I’ve been feeling well, clear headed, and energetic. This is indeed a bonus not only for my personal life, but my work life as well. The solution, for me it seems, has been reducing my meds to 15 mg of Abilify – down from the prescribed 30 mg. I feel like I am playing with fire, however. The dose is not enough to suppress the audibles, but enough to keep me cognitively clear enough to focus at work and then come home and have energy for the basic tasks of life.

30 mg, even 20 mg, drags on me so that I sleep when I get home from work and I don’t have the energy for anything more. Nothing gets done. Bills go unpaid, dishes pile up, clothing is strewn about. Now, on 15mg none off this is true. My little pad is tidy, maybe not spotless, but at least I have the wherewithal to start projects and slowly finish them over the course of a few weeks.

My neuro-behavioralist told me that anti-psychotics are powerful sedatives. I don’t think most people realize this. I know I didn’t, but boy do they pack a whollup. I don’t mind hearing things at all, so long as I am not delusional. Finding that balance between clarity and symptoms has not been an easy solution to happen upon. I admit I’ve played doctor with my meds – sometimes going off, sometimes running out – in an effort to find this optimum spot that reminds me how I used to feel, how I used to perform before adult-onset schizophrenia.

Sometimes it feels like I am chasing ghosts, and ironically, other times it seems like I am amidst ghosts, listening in on ethereal conversations. I am happy, though, all in all, and I am quite content with how I am feeling. Now if I could just get my closets organized.

Running the Streets in Fear

I am settled at home again after weeks of running the streets in fear. This time is not quite as bad as last, but it is still impossible to hear the things I am hearing and to feel safe and secure at the same time. I’ve spent a lot of time in my car, driving to and from my family’s house an hour away. I feel better being around humans than being alone.

My delusions — those that scare me — are filled with threats of harm. I have finally defeated the prowlers by winning a battle of wits with questions and answers, which earns me the right to hang them. Then they disappear. These people who threaten me, these ghosts, are real people who form a fabric of magicians and sorcerers across the continent, working together or alone, to gain power by stealing magical beings from otherwise ordinary people.

The magical beings are spirits who fight a battle I cannot seem to win alone. It is the spirits who interject on my behalf as I lay helplessly listening to the conversations through my window as choruses of voices call back and forth to one another in battle between the predatory and the protective.

The battle that comes at night  is only part of my day. I sit for hours on end talking to them, the people, these spirits as I try to understand their world. In this world there are real humans whose spirits have somehow joined with my spiritual form so I can hear them. These are not thought insertions — or the perceived thoughts inserted into my own mind — these are full conversations with persons I believe exist in the world out there, some where, making it all the more frightening. Will they find me? Will they help or harm me?

Layer upon layer, these characters – the people, the predatory, and the protective — form a cacophony of noise that drowns out reality. Submersed and alone, I wonder how I can defeat these forces that want to consume my mind, if not my soul.

Acquired Brain Injury

Moderate Traumatic Brain Injury (Glascow Coma Scale core 9-12)

A moderate traumatic brain injury occurs when:

* A loss of consciousness lasts from a few minutes to a few hours
* Confusion lasts from days to weeks
* Physical, cognitive, and/or behavioral impairments last for months or are permanent.

Persons with moderate traumatic brain injury generally can make a good recovery with treatment or successfully learn to compensate for their deficits.

03052010

Inspiration is a strange thing. The shear horror of all of this makes me want to ensure no one experiences any thing of the sort.

Living in poverty sucks. I’ve lost about $140K in wages. I am on state-provided health care, and up through December I have been on food stamps.

I totally changed directions in an attempt to adapt to my changing circumstances: I am in grad school to account for my time off work, to help my mental acuity, and for the money (sadly). Not only am I out wages, I am accruing debt. The plan was to be out of debt by the time I was 40.

Going from 60 mph to a full head-on collision is devastating beyond words. I can laugh at some of it now, but at the heart of it, I am PISSED OFF and scared.

I know some things were real, as bizarre as it all seems. I can only hope that somethings come to the surface to help me clarify events and to help me place context around others.

Progress

I am dealing with issues of disclosure now that it has been deemed that the alterations in my psych appear to be permanent and I have a formal diagnosis. I’ve had a formal diagnosis of schizophrenia for some months, but it’s only been within the past month that I am feeling cognitive enough to even acknowledge this. What that means is that my symptoms are subsiding enough to allow me to turn outward again, to fully function. Thanks to another new drug, Abilify, eight months later my symptoms continue to recede.