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

 

“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

 
download

RISK

 

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?

The Gift of Pain

 

I traded a bottle of Adderall

For a tattoo

I feel his soul

Imprinted on me

Like that tattoo I wish I could erase

Or, just have the ability

To time travel

Back to 1999.

 

Standing in the middle of Alabama

I wished I was anywhere but here

The change in scenery

Couldn’t cure me

Anymore than he could.

 

From Baltimore to New Orleans

I traveled

Hitching a ride,

Jumping a train,

The hot sticky summer heat

Seemed identical.

 

Mama warned me

That storm was comin’

You could feel

The cold red electricity

In the quarter.

 

Seems crazy

It’s been a decade

Since I ran from a storm

Although, Mama always reminded me

natural disaster’s

Tend to follow me.

 

But the real danger

Is in the man-made ones-

My mind an avalanche

My soul a tornado.

 

We couldn’t go to school today, Rose

Cause of the snowstorm

You left me in

Back years ago.

 

When he gives me

the gift of pain

my brain goes numb

and time stands still

I’m still waiting for the Adderall to hit him.

You Stood By Me

You stood by me.  You stood by me, when I didn’t know what was going on myself.  You stood by me, when I “kept you up with all my manic energy” (Song lyric by Waxahatchee).   You stood by me when I would suddenly burst into tears.  You stood by me, when I curled up on the floor in fear.  You stood by me when, shaking, I flipped from angry to happy to depressed.  You stood by me, stroked my hair, and rubbed my aching back.  You stood by me, even when I kept the light on while you were sleeping because of my intense insomnia.  You stood by me when I didn’t know if I could continue.  You stood by me, when panicking, my throat closed up.  You stood by me when I played the same album over and over again because it was calming.  You stood by me when electrical sensations pulsed through my body.   You stood by me when I thought I would have to be hospitalized.  You stood by me, telling me, “I know this isn’t who you are.”  Eyes filled with tears by seeing my pain and fear, you stood by me.  We haven’t made it through this yet, but I know you will continue to stand by me.

** Note: I am currently under medical supervision while getting off an anti-depressant.  This has caused me severe withdrawal symptoms, both physically, mentally, and emotionally. **

I Am Strung Out on Wellbutrin

download But not on purpose, it’s just that this dosage of Wellbutrin is like crack. Not that I would know………(I have been sober nearly 7 years).

Anyway, I can’t sleep and I can’t eat and I can’t come.  You heard me, I can’t have orgasms.  Well, not without some crazy fucking effort.

This is unacceptable.  At least the orgasm part is. 

WHY ORGASMS, WHY?  where have you gone?

Mentally, though, I feel great.  Back to normal, not depressed.  Physically, I feel like I am a zombie from lack of sleep, or I am crawling out of my skin.

Mentally, I am going, what was I worried about with the fiance? (See previous posts: “I lost a Piece of Him,” and “I Smoke & I Don’t Eat & I Lament”)

It’s just that the weight of the depression becomes so immense that I am deprived of perspective. Reality becomes distorted, and all that exists is my feelings, which range from intense sadness to anger to literally numb.

This is all because I quit my job, thereby losing my insurance to not-as-good insurance (cause my cobra was $800/month just for the medical for me alone!).  This took me far down the scale of antidepressants to those that are affordable – generic Wellbutrin – and, well, here I am. 

A cracked out zombie girl.  To be clear, it’s not the Wellbutrin, per say, it’s the side effects of th max dose of it that my brain needs to fucking be normal.  

So, I am trying to lower the crack-head-ness feeling.  I listen to Miles Davis, but mistakenly think  the “Birth of the Cool” album is actually what I consider “cool” jazz, but it is not. 

WTF MILES?  Why have you betrayed me?