Special Dispensation

They’re traumatized. My voices, that is. They’re traumatized by my living, I guess. They harass each other. This time it is because I quit my meds. My voices actually want me on my meds. Things go smoother then.

I don’t hear them in pain, or when they are suffering.  They go quiet. It is quiet tonight, so maybe something is wrong, I think? What a weird world my head has become. Spirits fighting spirits. I’ve actually gotten used to them.

I have a steady, “home group” of voices, then they switch out throughout the day. They come to visit me, and nighttime is the best time. Often the most active. My energy has been so low, though, hence me going off my meds.

I’m going off my meds for bipolar because they weren’t working. I would feel depressed all morning then manic and anxious at night. Off the meds, I feel a steady state. Figure that one out. Meds sometimes just stop working, or cause bad side effects, sometimes the very thing they are purported to treat.

When things are good, I have good voices. I’m lucky in that way, and that may be my only form of luck. I’m staying on my anti-psychotic because I have learned (now) that leads to nothing good. Ever.

The Road Trip

In May of 2008 I had a sudden, acute psychotic break. Very few people know their own risk of psychosis, and that it can happen at any age, regardless of prior history. Given my circumstances (age, gender, no prior family history, no notable prior mental illness, etc.) this constitutes something like a .04% statistical probability (4 in 10,000).

At the peak of my career and the onset of the worst economic crisis in nearly a century, I quit my job believing my co-workers were set to distribute videotape of me being sexually assaulted. Driven by delusions and hallucinations, I bolted from my comfortable surroundings in fear and hit the road in an attempt to reach my dad’s home in Ohio. I drove 17,000 miles before I found my way back home to Colorado. I was reported missing by my family.

Map Points Derived From Receipts

With no intervention from family or friends regarding my strange behavior and completely debilitated by my own condition, I spent the next year suffering in ways I never knew imaginable before I was able to seek help and begin the long road to recovery.

This blog encapsulates my journey from May of that fateful year to present day. Many of the early posts are pictures for I lost my ability to write and could only communicate in an abstract visual sense what was going on internally.

self-isolation versus social distancing

Well, my arm is getting better, but is still not healed. I can type from my recliner with my arm supported. I’ve been isolated because of my broken arm for about 14 weeks now. I’ve been able to drive recently, using one arm. I couldn’t before because the cast was in the way and I now have a brace that allows more freedom of movement.

All of this isolation had me in a very dark place in January and February. I started to come out of it late February with increased sunshine and increased meds. I finally get well enough to go out and the Corona virus self-quarantine begins.

I moved in November and I haven’t had an opportunity to create a real routine for myself. I broke my arm just after we got unpacked in December. I still have a room full of boxes I plan on going through later. Not having my usual coping mechanisms in place, like writing, I’ve really struggled with how to keep myself occupied. I told my orthopedic doctor I was certain I would end up psychotic, and I did. Being psychotic with no way to cope has got to be the worst hell. I suffered through for a while as my doctor quit and then my clinic dropped my insurance. I finally found a new clinic but had to wait a month for an appointment. When things started getting more and more bleak, I called for a “crisis” appointment. Luckily, they were able to fit me in.

My intake was two hours long. I went through my entire mental health history in detail, but I found it suprising they never asked if I heard voices. When I mentioned it, my psychiatric nurse seemed surprised. I am not sure what the average medical person is trained on when they are taught about schizophrenia and shizoaffective disorders. They shouldn’t be supposed caught off-gaurd though, when you say you hallucinate.

I am so thankful that the sun is out and I am feeling better.

Giving Thanks, 2019

2019-11-26 13.09.12

My dog, Sugar, spotted an animal on our morning walk. At first I thought it was a squirrel, then I thought it may be a sick squirrel because it didn’t move, so we went to investigate. As I approached, I saw it was a kitten in a pile of leaves. He was sickly, cold and wet. When I picked him up, he started purring, so I brought him home. He wasn’t feral; I could tell by how lovey he was being. I fed him on the counter and set him on the floor and that’s when Sugar started nudging him, a little too hard. I decided to take him over to mom’s so he would be safe for the night. Mom has only one cat.

In the night he vomited, and that’s when we noticed he had worms. We called the vet and  got an appointment for the next day, a Tuesday. He was so sickly, though, I decided to bring him in to the veterinarian’s kennel for the night. The following day the vet called and said he had ear mites, parasites, and an upper respiratory infection. I decided to treat him and keep him at kennel for the week to keep our pets healthy and to finish packing for the big move (more on that later).

A week later, I picked him up from the vet. This is him now. He still has an infection, but he is doing a little better. I called today and ordered another course of antibiotics for him  since he spent last night breathing through his mouth because his little nose was so choked with snot. I took a rag to his little face to clean him up, and he was able to sleep a little better.

I don’t know what I would have done had I not been able to afford to care for him. I guess I could have dropped him off at the kennel and left him there, but to leave him outside would have been unthinkable. This week we got our first snow, and I know he wouldn’t have survived. The vet says he is at least a year old since all of his adult teeth are in, but you couldn’t tell by his size. Malnurishment has kept him as small as an average three-month old cat.

This Thanksgiving I have a new kitty, Fish (named after his nasty fish breath), and I am thankful that I have the means to take care of and home a lost pet today.