Never Throw Your Cell at a Cop . . . and other Fun Learning Experiences

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“Loving NOLA Life”

So I went to a new therapist last Friday.  She said something that stuck with me, “You have the ability to compensate.”  Which meant, that despite what is going on with me, I can pull off presenting well.  I can make you think I am ok, and all is well.  Despite a psych hospitalization and using cocaine at the time, I was able to do well in a master’s program and graduate.  Although, I know people thought I was an asshole.  Which probably was the case, although, truly, I was sick.   I think I had to learn to compensate at a young age – I have had depression as long as I can remember – there was no other way to be! This has actually served me well, because It means I have been able to function despite mania, intense depression, drug use, and now, dissociation.  Except the latter proves more difficult to manage presenting well.  People can’t tell, but when asked to do something simple like fill out paper work, I am unable to do so.  I write the wrong thing in the wrong place, and even the therapist looks at me funny. Creative writing or working on a project helps me, though (hence six new blog posts and a new blog design).

Therefore, I have decided to start on something I have always wanted to do – my memoir.  I know I am only 37; but with 5 psych hospitalizations (including many of those for psychosis-including the time I ran around totally naked to save the world, cause if you are a superhero, you should be naked), serious drug addiction and getting sober, a lot of experience traveling and living in many different cities, experience in the BDSM lifestyle/going to the local dungeon, experience as a stripper, nearly partying through “Katrina” in New Orleans and attempting to get out at the last-minute (Chaos!), interning at The National Organization for Women in DC and meeting well-known politicians (Hilary told me “thank you for working on the behalf on women!), Coach surfing on the East Coast and Midwest (with a cat!), hanging out with homeless people and “rainbow kids,” (they are a little smelly, but I love them!), protesting Condoleezza Rice in her hometown (which is mine in Alabama), marching in DC as a protester, being in the middle of a tornado, losing a fiancé when he tried to jump on a train, the fact that any given family reunion could end in a brawl, running from the cops, throwing a cell phone at a cop (don’t do that by the way, it will not end well for you), participating in pagan rituals, dating a guy named “Jesse James” (really, that was his name!), going to jail three times and being propositioned for sex in the holding cell by a self-proclaimed murderer, doing five days in “gen pop” (if you don’t know what that means, that’s a good thing), experience as a therapist myself in an inpatient unit– I think I have something to say.

At least I hope I do.

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A Different Flavor of Madness

schiz-y woman

bite down

take another hit

cause it always returns,

haunting. . . .

 

It’s just a different flavor of madness

 

the telephone doesn’t stop ringing

when I pick it up

no one’s there

feels like

God just gave me the finger

 

dementia came on over

she said “let’s go take a ride

to the ends of the earth”

 

It’s a different flavor of madness

 

take a look inside

sanity is just a perspective

 

hanging upside down

is only good for a sick tummy

but it doesn’t cure me

any more then he could.

 

so take a good look inside

before i carve it up

that child was a serial killer

her favorite victim was herself

 

It’s just a different flavor of madness

so take a good look inside

 maybe I’ll find a different reality

where the madness means freedom.

Mental Illness Is a Thief.

I canceled all engagements for the week, including the party I was to attend with my fiancé’s girlfriend (we are polyamorous) while he is out-of-town.  She may not understand.  I don’t care.  I accidentally got high on Clonidine, which my new psychiatrist prescribed to help with debilitating withdrawal symptoms from an anti-depressant.  Although, the withdrawal feels more like something that comes with opiate (i.e. heroin) withdrawal.  Not that I know personally, but I saw it often during my time as a substance abuse counselor.  I am unable – emotionally and mentally – to cook my standard eggs and croissants for breakfast.  I am unable to take care of my dog (although people are helping me).  I am unable to clean my house.  I am unable to do anything.  My fiancé emails the head of a volunteer committee I am on – because I am unable to clearly form the words or I don’t have the energy to do so – to write her and explain why I am missing committee meetings.

I am drowning.

I vape and listen to the same album on a loop (“Out in the Storm,” by Waxahatchee).  I am still not tired of it after nearly a week.  When I get tired of it for the moment, I listen to Cat Power’s “The Greatest” album one time, and then switch back.

The worst part is, I am getting married in 33 days, and I don’t have the ability to feel excited about it.  Or happy.  Or sometimes, feel anything at all.

Mental illness is like a thief; it steals from you.  It is the thief in the darkness of the moonless night, sneaking in and overtaking your brain.  It hijacks my happiness and banishes it. It breathes white-hot despair into my soul.  Mental illness is a thief.

“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked…”

-“Howl,” Allen Ginsberg

 
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My junky past
can’t keep up with me
punk rock leaks through
the trailer with no floors
an upside down flag
is wrapped around my body
while the cats run wild
Escaping through the cracked plywood.

it was like living
in a make-shift tent
we played an alcoholics
version of Risk
and danced on the edge of death-
the gravel sticking to my skin
down an endless dirt road,
the lavender isn’t real here, Bug.

the story stops abruptly

mostly cause he O.D’d

but he lived
so when he woke up

he said: “I just did a little too much.”

he was my heroin
I was not strong enough
to save him
I couldn’t even save myself

I wrote his eulogy before he left
The story did end abruptly, eventually, on that train.
They said: “he never got over you.”

i always wondered
if there was life
after the end of the story.

i will mourn him until I collapse

Running
Up Up Up

the downhill escalator

if you never take risks Then why bother living?