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 on short notice instead of waiting a month.

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.

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.

Living a Shattered (and Scattered) Life

It started at 32 — my scattered life. I joined Debtors Anonymous to deal with a problem of spending too much and not being able to make ends meet. I felt a lot of shame about my financial situation and I never talked to anyone about it, though all my friends new I was the one with chronic money problems. I kept my membership in the followship a secret from friends and family.blonderedheadthumb

At 37 schizophrenia found me, took my job and whatever semblance of sanity I had built around finances and added a  host of new problems. Delusions, hallucinations — the hallmarks of the illness — I kept to myself for as long as possible, in part because I didn’t really understand what was happening to me. I sought help in secret. My trips to doctors, to the hospital, until I finally had to be admitted long-term and I had to tell my family (who already knew something was wrong, though they didn’t feel it was their place to intervene).

As time progressed, I kept my diagnosis a secret when I volunteered and as I started working, though my symptoms were then and are sometimes now, noticeable.  I have one friend with whom I am frank and open, and all others, including my family know little about what goes on in my life, let alone my mind.

Thus began my Twitter account, where I tweet my auditory hallucinations, what I hear. I started writing about my experience and about my life as a means of rebuilding my skills that supported my career so that I could continue working as long as possible. Getting serious, I found there are three other writers with my full name, so I found a pen name, a name that will allow me to publish without my family or friends or coworkers knowing, which leads me to today.

I’ve got my family, which knows the worst of my sz experience, though they chose to dismiss it as eccentricity. I’ve got my co-workers, who know I’m a bit off. I’ve got DA, whom know I have a spending problem and health problems, but not the nature or extent. I have all my friends on Facebook, whom know nothing other than I post weird things now and then and that I disappeared for a while. I’ve got my writing work, which is separate from it all, and one single friend with whom I speak about trying to bring it all together, perhaps in one fail swoop, this new me.

My life shattered with experience and I am trying to find ways to bring it all back together again  at 42 because I want, at the very least, some people to know who I am, to know what has happened to me, and to know where I am going. It’s a bit much to manage each as separate lives.

I am Learning to Feel

A bout of delusion has left me feeling tired, exhausted from all the hallucinated stimulation. I feel spiritually, as well as mentally, tattered and torn. I feel shredded from the intense, overpowering things I hear and perceive. The fear takes the greatest toll on me.2152830075_5f4724b22e

I have missed an inordinate amount of time at work because I don’t want to sit in my cube talking to myself. I fear either being laughed at or making others uncomfortable with my weird behavior. I don’t want to damage other people’s perception of me as being anything other than a normal person, a good worker. I lie to my boss about my circumstances, claiming a family problem instead of a problem within myself.

A great sense of loss and grief overwhelm my sense of having lost myself. Those parts of me I used to know before late onset schizophrenia and psychosis changed who I am and how I live my life. Loneliness sets in as I feel separated not only from my emotions, but close friends because I simply cannot convey with appropriate emotion how I feel and all that I am perceiving.

There is a great sense of shame associated with not being able to control my thoughts and actions. There is great stigma associated with behavior that lies outside of the norm. People notice me talking to myself, I am certain, but I hope they perceive me as benign and see my circumstances with compassion instead of judgement befitting only of ridicule.

Eff People

Eff people who think they know who you are, people who believe they can predict your fulcrum. Fuck people who try to maintain some semblance of control over their lives though ordinary measures, through conditional control of their life circumstances.

You introduce an element of chaos. I shall not allow this.

You’re living in a Fantasy world.

Women and children first
I have seen too much. I have seen enough.

Preparing for the New Year

I’ve got an early start on the New Year and I have high hopes for some serious progress. Here’s this list (thus far) of a few things I hope to accomplish throughout the 2013. I take it for granted I want to stay sane, stay on meds, do all those healthy things that are already a given. I’ve taken a different approach with this list than just “goals” and made it more about personal fulfillment and self actualization of the mind, body, spirit and heart.

  1. Take a Figure Drawing Class — As my first step toward becoming an actualized visual artist, I’m going to take a drawing class to gain some serious skills that I’ve never acquired.
  2. Hike a 14er — Living in Colorado has its advantages, and one of them is the great outdoors. I’ll be accepting the challenge to finally hike a 14,000 foot mountain, but I reserve the right to not “scramble” or take the “technical” routes to the top.
  3. Get a puppy — I miss the companionship of Zoey so much. This year will mark five years, and I hope it is finally time to get a new dog to warm the home and my heart.
  4. Take a REAL vacation — You heard it here, first, folks. I plan on taking a real vacation, not a stay-cation. Those three weeks away from work this year spent in psychosis don’t count either. I want to travel with a planned destination and a budget and a timeline.
  5. Get published — This may be my most important personal aspiration for the year. I’ve got a couple of articles started and one fully edited, ready for submission. This will be my year to break into print.
  6. Find a new swank hangout — With all the local bars closing in Denver, especially those with Historical importance, I’ve got to find a new place to swill some rum and cokes. Too many jock/sports bars are opening along with chain bars. It’s time for something new.
  7. Create a wilderness art installation — Perhaps my most grand aspiration, to install something in the wilderness for people to find randomly. Certainly I’ll document it all, as it will take some time.

As it goes without saying, I am really excited to put wheels on this and set it into motion. Keep posted for exciting updates.